Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, January 14, 2008

Afghans demonstrate for release of journalist accused of ‘mocking Islam’

Afghan activists and journalists demonstrated in the northern Balkh Province on Sunday to demand the release of a 23-year-old newspaper reported detained by Afghan security forces for alleged blasphemy, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday citing Bakhtar news agency and other Afghan media.

According to Bakhtar, Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, a student at Balkh University, has been detained for three months “accused of mocking Islam and the Holy Koran” and for distributing an article saying the Prophet Mohammad “ignored the rights of women.”

“Demonstrating outside the Human Rights Commission’s office in the provincial capital of Mazar-e Sharif, protesters said that the accusation is false and demanded Kambakhsh’s release,” RFE/RFL noted. “Afghanistan is experiencing a boom in media activities and relative journalistic freedom since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001; however, charges of blasphemy still carry the death penalty.”

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