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Sentenced to Death for Questioning the Role of Women in Islam (Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh)

From: Andrew R.
Sent on: Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:16 AM
Hello All,

    Are we going to let this happen?

Afghan 'blasphemy' death sentence

Australian media are just starting to report the story.
The Age in Victoria had a brief bit in print (page 10) but not on their


Please let everyone know.




Afghan 'blasphemy' death sentence

An Afghan journalist has been sentenced to death by a provincial court for
distributing "blasphemous" material.
Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 23, was arrested in 2007 after downloading material
from the internet relating to the role of women in Islamic societies.

A primary court in Balkh province said that Kambakhsh had confessed to
blasphemy and had to be punished.

The court also threatened to arrest any reporters who protested against
Kambakhsh's sentence.

Kambakhsh, a student at Balkh University and a journalist for Jahan-e Naw
(New World), was arrested in October 2007 after material he downloaded was
deemed to be offensive to Islam.

Shamsur Rahman, the head of the court, told Reuters news agency: "According
to... the Islamic law, Sayed Perwiz is sentenced to death at the first

"However, he will go through three more courts to declare his last
punishment," he said.

'Deeply shocked'

Balkh province's deputy attorney general, Hafizullah Khaliqyar, warned other
journalists that they would be arrested if they attempted to support

But Agence France-Presse reported that journalists were gathering outside
the home of the condemned reporter.

The sentence has been welcomed by conservative Islamic clerics in
Afghanistan but criticised by international human rights groups.

Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said it was "deeply shocked"
by the trial and appealed to President Hamid Karzai to intervene "before it
is too late".

In a statement, the group said the trial was "carried out in haste and
without any concern for the law or for free expression, which is protected
by the constitution".

"Kambakhsh did not do anything to justify his being detained or being given
this sentence."

Kambakhsh's brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, said the verdict was "very
unfair" and appealed for help from the international community, reported

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