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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Freedom: Azadi

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that the Afghan supreme court has upheld the 20-year prison sentence which Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh received on a blasphemy charge. The supreme court took its decision without hearing arguments from the defence. In fact, the journalist’s lawyer learned of the ruling as he was about to submit his letter of defence.

“At no point in this case has the Afghan judicial system observed the correct procedure,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After an initial trial behind closed doors without any defence lawyer and after all the appeal court irregularities, the supreme court has now confirmed a very severe sentence without even hearing the defence’s arguments.”

Kambakhsh was arrested on a blasphemy in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on 27 October 2007 for downloading an article about the role of women in Islam. A Kabul appeal court imposed the 20-year prison sentence in October 2008.

After 8 years of 'democracy' freedom of press or freedom of expression still does not exist in Afghanistan.
posted by Travis, 10:16 am


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