The Afghan Supreme Court upholds a criminal conviction for “blasphemy:”
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s Supreme Court has upheld a 20-year sentence for an Afghan university student journalist accused of blasphemy in a case that has alarmed media and rights organizations in Afghanistan and abroad. The student’s family and lawyers said Wednesday thay had only learned recently about the court decision, which was taken in secret on Feb. 12, and they denounced the procedure as illegal.
The student, Parwez Kambakhsh, from northern Afghanistan, was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death for blasphemy after accusations that he wrote and distributed an article about the role of women in Islam. Mr. Kambakhsh has denied writing the article and said he downloaded it from the Internet. His family and lawyers say he has been denied a fair trial.
In 2008 an appeals court in Kabul commuted the death sentence to 20 years imprisonment, a decision that was upheld a tribunal of the Supreme Court last month.
“Unfortunately the Supreme Court has confirmed the 20-year prison sentence for my brother;” said Sayed Yaqoub Ibrahimi, the brother of Mr Kambaksh. “We did not expect it at all.”
Wow, I wonder what Barack Obama’s “moderate Taliban” would’ve done to the guy.