Afghanistan: journalist’s blasphemy sentence upheld

Afghanistan’s Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year prison term for Parwiz Kambakhsh, 24, a university student journalist accused of “blasphemy” for writing an article advocating greater rights for women under Islam. The student’s family and lawyers said this week that they had learned only recently about the court decision, which was made in secret on Feb. 12.

The decision came to light only when the national prosecutor’s office issued orders to the northern province of Balkh to enforce the ruling, said Afzal Nooristani, a defense lawyer for Kambakhsh. “I was not allowed to talk with the judges and officials, which is a complete violation of law,” he said. (IHT, March 12)

See our last post on Afghanistan and the women’s struggle.

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  1. Afghanistan: another journalist killed
    An Afghan journalist once detained by the US was killed March 10 in a drive-by shooting as he left his office in Kandahar. The journalist, Javed Yazamy, worked primarily for the CTV network as a camera operator and assistant covering Canadian forces in the Kandahar region. In 2007, he was arrested by US forces and held at Bagram Air Base for 11 months. (NYT, March 10)