Afghan Court Resentences Activist
Want proof that the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan has brought the democracy it promised? You won’t find it in this case. An appeals court resentenced Parwez Kambakhsh, a student arrested for distributing an article on women’s rights, to a mere 20 years in prison, overturning the controversial death sentence he was given last year — firmly entrenching the decision within the judiciary body by removing the executive’s power to veto.
WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
The L.A. Times:
In a case that has illustrated Afghanistan’s drift toward a more radically conservative brand of Islam as well as the fragility of its legal system, an appeals court Tuesday overturned a death sentence for a student convicted of blasphemy but sentenced him to 20 years in prison.
The student, Parwez Kambakhsh, 24, ran afoul of Afghan authorities last year when he circulated an article about women’s rights under Islam after downloading it from the Internet. He was studying at the time in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, where he also worked as a part-time journalist for local newspapers.
Arrested by security police and initially held without charges, he was eventually tried on blasphemy charges, convicted and sentenced to death.
Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge appeals court panel was a blow to human rights groups and advocates of press freedom who have championed Kambakhsh’s cause.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.