Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 23, has been sentenced to death by an Afghan court for distributing "blasphemous" material. He has been arrested in 2007 after downloading material from the internet relating to the role of women in Islamic societies.
A primary court in Balkh province in northern Afghanistan said that Kambakhsh had confessed to blasphemy and had to be punished. 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 court, however, he will go through three more courts to declare his last punishment."
Balkh province's deputy attorney general, Hafizullah Khaliqyar, warned other journalists that they would be arrested if they attempted to support Kambakhsh. But Agence France-Presse reported that journalists were gathering outside the home of the condemned reporter.
International human rights groups. 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,
What can you say? I bloody well hope that the international community responds. I hope that the Afghan authorities take notice.