AFGHANISTAN. CONDEMNED JOURNALIST WINS RIGHT TO APPEAL DEATH SENTENCE
April 16, 2008: a young Afghan journalist, sentenced to death in January for spreading feminist criticism of Islam, was granted an appeal, according to an international organization monitoring his case.
The writer, Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, 23, was transferred on March 28 from prison in the remote province of Balkh, in northern Afghanistan, to the capital, Kabul, accompanied by promises from officials in the government of President Hamid Karzai that Kambakhsh would be freed. International protests in the wake of the death sentence were credited as a key factor in getting Kambakhsh out of the control of regional religious and secular authorities.
She also said that within Afghanistan, protests in several cities organized by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), a banned group, had made local citizens aware of the case.
Kambakhsh vehemently denies downloading or distributing the material. "Guards brought me into a room where there were three judges and an attorney sitting behind their desks,'' Kambakhsh reported at the time.
"They just handed me a piece of paper on which it was written that I had been sentenced to death. Then armed guards came and took me out of the room and brought me back to the prison." (Sources: Bloomberg, 16/04/2008)