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So, Rosemary Laurey alerted me to this story about a guy in Afghanistan, who was sentenced to death because he downloaded a report which suggested that Muslim fundamentalists who preached that the Koran justified the oppression of women, were acting in direct contravention to the teachings of their Prophet Mohamed.

The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests, and deepening concern about erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.

Mr Kambaksh, 23, distributed the tract to fellow students and teachers at Balkh University with the aim, he said, of provoking a debate on the matter. But a complaint was made against him and he was arrested, tried by religious judges without – say his friends and family – being allowed legal representation and sentenced to death.

What the fuck?

Anyway, the Independent are trying to get his conviction quashed:

The Independent is launching a campaign today to secure justice for Mr Kambaksh. The UN, human rights groups, journalists’ organisations and Western diplomats have urged Mr Karzai’s government to intervene and free him. But the Afghan Senate passed a motion yesterday confirming the death sentence.

Anybody who feels that this is grossly unjust, (and really, why shouldn’t you?) please, please, please go and sign this petition, to help save this man’s life.

No way should a man be sentenced to death because he was forward thinking enough to want to read about women’s rights. What kind of religious freakishness is that?

11 Comments »

  • Did it, Karen. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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  • I signed. I hope this young man gets a reprieve. I hope the media over her gets wind of this so hopefully someone can speak on his behalf.

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  • azteclady
    February 1
    1:36 am

    CNN has a week old article, but I don’t see any follow ups.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/01/23/afghanistan.journalist/?iref=mpstoryview
    (Karen, if I format my comment goes to moderation or gets eaten :( sorry)

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  • Now that is just plain wrong.

    :( I’ll pass the link on, see if we can get some more signatures.

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  • azteclady
    February 1
    3:20 am

    Yes, Shiloh, that’s what I’m doing myself.

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  • Thanks for sharing, Karen. This is horrible! I’ve signed and passed along the info.

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  • I signed….

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  • MB (Leah)
    February 1
    1:00 pm

    The best thing that any friend has done for me is to tell me when I’m acting like an ass or I’m off. That’s the hardest thing for someone who cares about you to do, and I appreciate those who had the guts to do it, because sometimes it’s needed.

    On the other hand, the best thing that some friends have done for me is to trust me when I tell them I’m going to do something really insane and they don’t try and stop me. : )

    I don’t know what my friends would say I do for them, but I do know that I would and have given the shirt off my back to some of them.

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  • MB (Leah)
    February 1
    1:02 pm

    Crap sorry, posted the upper message under the wrong section.

    I did sign this petition and sent it along to other friends.

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  • Makes me realize living in the US, I take so many things for granted, such as my right to read whatever the hell I want.
    I signed and hope he gets free. This sickens me and is beyond sad.

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  • byrdloves2read
    February 1
    3:10 pm

    Well, I signed the petition, but is there one for Americans to urge their government to put pressure on Karzai as well?

    Unfortunately, it sounds like Western pressure will only aggravate the situation. We need other Islamic countries to protest on Mr. Kambaksh’s behalf.

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