Thursday, March 12, 2009
Afghanistan and the Persecution of Sayed Kambaksh
He faces twenty years in a prison full of people who want to kill him.
For the crime of standing up for women's rights in Afghanistan.
After a so-called legal process that was a monumental travesty of justice.
Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, the student journalist sentenced to death for blasphemy in Afghanistan, has been told he will spend the next 20 years in jail after the country's highest court ruled against him – without even hearing his defence.
Mr Kambaksh was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to death last year for circulating an essay on women's rights which questioned verses in the Koran.
The Supreme Court's decision means Mr Kambaksh's best hope is now a presidential pardon, which will force Mr Karzai to choose between fundamentalists in his government and the rule of law.
Mr Kambaksh's case has been passed to the prosecutors' office for "execution of the sentence", which means he could be moved to Kabul's notorious Pul-e Charkhi prison, or north to Mazar-i-Sharif, where he was first found guilty. Both hold murderers, rapists and violent Taliban sympathisers. Conditions inside are grim and both are prone to deadly riots..
Now I realize that our doomed mission in Afghanistan fell off the cliff long ago. But all that Canadian blood at least gives us the right to demand that Sayed Pervez Kambaksh be freed.
So what is the Harper government waiting for ?
And if the puppet Karzai won't pardon him...so as not to offend the religious extremists in his corrupt government who are screaming for Sayed's blood.
Can we please fire him? Or free Sayed ourselves?
Freedom and justice in Afghanistan.
What a bloody farce....