Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, May 23, 2008

Condemned Afghan journalist insists confession was coerced through torture

Twenty-four-year-old Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, convicted in January and sentenced to death for blasphemy, has alleged in his appeal that he was unfairly arrested and tortured into giving a confession, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on May 18.

“As a human being, a Muslim, and a descendant of the family of the Prophet Muhammad, I will never allow myself to insult my ancestor or my religion,” Kambakhsh told the court, implicitly denying the validity of his confession. “These are things which I have been unfairly accused. This accusation is unlawful and I don’t know why they did this to me.”

Sources close to the Kambakhsh case have said it is a complicated one despite the international and domestic support for his acquittal, and the blatant corruption of justice in his January trial, at which he had no legal representation. Sources said that attorneys were nervous about even taking the case, possibly fearing the power of the mullahs.

Kevin Olivier of Reporters Without Borders told the media that authorities had still not provided Kambakhsh’s lawyer with access to all the cases files.

For the full article, click here.


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