October 22, 2008

Afghan Student Sentenced to 20 Years

An Afghan student was sentenced to 20 years in prison instead of death for blaspheming by circulating an article about the rights of women under Islam.

Parwiz Kambakhsh, 24, had an appeals court Tuesday overturn his death sentence for blasphemy for passing around an article he downloaded from the Internet, the Los Angeles Times reported.

He was studying at the time in Mazar-e-Sharif, where he also worked as a part-time journalist for local newspapers, the Times said.

Kambakhsh was initially held without charges, but eventually was tried on blasphemy charges, convicted and sentenced to death.

His supporters have said the case should be thrown out because the previous trial was held in secret and he was denied legal representation.


Image Caption: An Afghan woman and child in Parwan Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Sgt. Sean A. Terry, USA.