In Afghanistan two local men - one an amputee who has worked with the Red Cross for many years - have been thrown in jail on apostasy charges. They face the death penalty if convicted.
The men's 'crime' under Sharia law is that they have converted from Islam to Christianity. And the Afghan government under self-regarding President Hamid Karzai shows no sign of exercising mercy.
"They must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others," is the uncompromising line from a Ministry of Justice official.
Meanwhile, Karzai himself is calling for reductions in Western influence which, in his eyes, includes both the Western military presence and international aid outfits. He's also talking about developing closer links with sections of the Taliban.
All this matters back here because yet again this week we have another bleak illustration of the terrible price being paid by soldiers from this place in the conflict in Afghanistan.
Ranger David Dalzell has died in what has been described as a tragic accident. But that makes his sacrifice no less great than others who have been killed there. He was brave and selfless and the enormity of the loss of this and so many other shining young lives is an unbearable price to pay. Especially when freedom in Afghanistan appears to amount to a state-sanctioned religious pogrom.
David Dalzell and others like him laid down their lives for the ordinary people of Afghanistan. Not for the corrupt Kabul administration.
Does our own Government know any more what it is doing there? Does it care enough about the enormity of the continuing sacrifice of British forces? Given the dark news from Afghanistan this week, you have to wonder.