23 January 2008

Afghan reporter sentenced to death

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.


Sean Jeating said...

According to Reporters without Borders 'Kambakhsh was supposedly arrested because of a controversial article commenting on verses in the Koran about women, although it has now been established that he was not the article’s author. Rahimullah Samandar, the head of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association, said he was in fact arrested because of articles written by his brother, Ibrahimi, criticising the provincial authorities.'

It would be ridiculous if it were not dead earnest.
Ah, facing this wall of bigotry, it's sometimes just impossible to describe one's feelings.

Anonymous said...

What next? Surely the Afghan government can overrule this court? I'm so glad church and state separated in this country a long time ago.

Irishcoda said...

This is so scary that such a young man could be put to death for something like this...makes me appreciate the freedom I have all the more.

Anonymous said...

Karzai is rubbing shoulders in Davos.
You must get your priorities right.
Actually it makes you sick - I may be a reactionary old fart but I think it would be better if a little more isolationism was practised.
The West corrodes what ever it touches.
Take no notice... grump, grump.

beakerkin said...


This case illustrates theocracy by its nature is totalitarian. The most odious thing about shariah is that is imposed on non believers.

I will take one order of Civil law with a sides of tolerance and decency. Sadly, building a decent society is harder than ordering a pizza.