Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, January 25, 2008

Afghan journalist sentenced to death for violating Islamic law

Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, a journalist for Jahan-e Naw (New World), and a student at Balkh University has been sentenced to death for distributing “blasphemous” material, BBC News reported Wednesday.

In October 2007, Kambakhsh was arrested for downloading material relating to the role of women in Islamic societies, which was considered offensive to Islam.

According to the provincial court that handed down the sentence, Kambakhsh confessed to blasphemy and needed to be punished. The head of the court argued that Islamic law stipulates that the offense that Kambakhsh committed warrants a death sentence.

This ruling has been met by heavy criticism from the international human rights community. Reporters Without Borders said that the trail were less than fair as the sentencing was rushed along without proper regard for the law. In a statement, the group added, “Kambakhsh did not do anything to justify his being detained or being given this sentence.”

Journalists were warned by Balkh province’s deputy attorney general, Hafizullah Khaliqyar, that any individual who chooses to support Kambakhsh will be arrested as well.

Kambakhsh’s brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi is asking the international community to step in and help save his brother.

For the full article, click here.


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