A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

In Afghanistan, Defending Women Will Get You A Death Sentence

In afghanistan, Intolerance, religion of peace, Violence, womens' issues on March 13, 2009 at 6:11 pm

U.S. Backed Theoracy Shows High Level of Muslim Contempt for Women

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, a student journalist was sentence to death last year for downloading an article on women’s rights. His sentence was commuted earlier this month to 20 years after intense international pressure and a highly published appeal. Mr. Kambaksh wasn’t allowed the luxury of a lawyer, or even to submit a formal defense. His conviction came at the hands of three mullahs, in a secret trial. During an appeal last year the key prosecution witness withdrew his testimony, claiming he had been forced to lie under the threat of death.

Judge Bahauddin Baha of Afghani Supreme Court promised the appeal would be held in “a very open court”, no one was surprised that Mr. Baha didn’t live up to his commitments. Mr. Kambaksh was told of the verdict when he arrived to present his written defense. Meanwhile, Prosecutors have announced him they are collecting evidence against him for “defending infidels”.

The case of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has raised serious questions over the millions of American taxpayer dollars spent on reforming the Afghan judiciary since the U.S. invasion of October 2001, which clearly have been wasted, or more likely stolen. Another example of the Bush Administration’s incompetence I’d say. If I am going to fund a foreign court, I would appreciate it if it would follow international standard for due process.

As of today, Mr. Kambaksh is in a Kabul jail, fearing for his life. Islamic fundamentalists have been demanding his blood. To be fair, more moderate groups have led marches countrywide calling for his release. However, Mr Kambaksh’s case has been referred to the prosecutors’ office for “execution of the sentence”, he will be moved to Kabul’s notorious Pul-e Charkhi prison. The prison holds murderers, rapists and other violent offenders. Conditions inside are deplorable and there are frequent and deadly riots.

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