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 (at right), 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.