A 23-year-old student journalist in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death for downloading and distributing a report that is critical of the oppressive treatment of women in some Islamic societies.
Sayed Pervez Kambaksh (above), who is a journalism student at Balkh University and a writer for Jahan-e Naw, was sentenced last October after downloading a report from a Farsi website that criticized Islamic fundamentalists who misrepresent statements in the Koran to justify the oppression of women. Kambaksh was arrested after someone filed a complaint against him. He is accused of blasphemy for distributing the report to other students and teachers at his school.
He was tried by a sharia court (which oversees Islamic religious law) and was not allowed legal representation, according to news reports. The Afghan Senate passed a motion this week supporting the sentence, according to the British newspaper The Independent.
Other journalists have been warned that they would be arrested if they protested in support of Kambaksh.
I found this story to be very disturbing and I began to search around for to see if there was any interest by any group willing to fight for Pervez Kambaksh. As of yet, and it has only been 48 hours since this story broke in western media, the British newspaper,
The Independant, is the only source for support. They have an on line petition you can sign urging the British Foreign Office to intervene. I have not seen this reported in American Media.