Abdul Rahman, who has been hearing voices according to his warden, could be free as early as Monday, after an Afghan Court dismissed the case against him for converting to Christianity, citing a lack of evidence.
His relatives testified he was mentally unstable, and there was some earlier question as to whether he would be ruled mentally unfit, which might have played some role in the court's decision. There was also some question as to his citizenship. The court's decision makes that a moot point and will likely anger Afghan clerics who had called for an enforcement of the country's laws against apostasy.
"There will be big protests across Afghanistan," said Faiez Mohammed, a Sunni Muslim leader in the northern city of Kunduz. "This has shamed Afghanistan in the eyes of other Muslim countries."
International pressure had been brought to bear on the Afghan Government, from the Pope to President Bush stressing that religious freedom is a vital element of democracy. Of course, in the court of international opinion, the Afghan Government was found guilty even before it acted, and the fledgling democracy deemed failed. The Afghan constitution is a unique political animal, enshrining both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as Islamic Law. This was perhaps it's first test, and unfortunately, avoided rather than faced up to.
It is expected he may move to another country. The question is, that in a country where his actions have made his existence a crime, does he have freedom despite being a free man?