As the fighting in Afghanistan continues to worsen, there are new questions about the government that we are fighting to maintain. An Afghan appeals court sentenced journalism student Parwez Kambakhsh, 24, to twenty years in prison for asking questions about women’s rights under Islam. The sentence for blasphemy was considered a bizarre civil liberties victory since he was facing the death penalty.
Kambakhsh was studying journalism at Balkh University in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He was also writing for local newspapers when he was arrested in October 2007. He was accused of asking blasphemous questions in class and distributing an article from the Internet about women’s rights and Islam.
Two students and three teachers testified against him. However, the first witness told the court that he was coerced into his statement by Afghan intelligence people — the people we helped train. He also said that his professor threatened him with expulsion if he did not cooperate.
A journalist faces the death penalty for simply printing a translation of the Koran, here
What I fail to understand is why only the military situation is being raised during this campaign and not the drift of the government toward the same harsh Taliban policies and Sharia law.