Thursday, January 31, 2008

Send a letter to president Karzai and ask the immediate release of a young Afghan Journalist

Dear friends
The upper house of the Afghan parliament has supported a death sentence against a journalist convicted of blasphemy in northern Afghanistan.
Parvez Kambakhsh, 23 was arrested in October 2007 after material he downloaded was deemed to be offensive to Islam.

I'm asking for your support for this petition seeking clemency for this young journalist and for the still-fragile freedom of speech in Afghanistan.
For more information regarding this matter please check the below links:

Please sing this potition by leaving a comment or sending an email to me.
My email adress is:

Dear President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Honorable Hamid Karzai

Thank you for all you have done in these past years to ensure the safety and well being of the Afghan people.
We were informed of the death sentence handed out to a journalist based in Mazar-i-Shariff, by a provincial court in your country on Tuesday, January 22, 2008. Mr. Pervez Kambakhsh has been convicted of blasphemy for peacefully distributing copies of articles downloaded from the Internet which some say question the Koran.
We are extremely concerned about this verdict. The death penalty is a brutal and dehumanizing act for both executioner and victim. It is especially distressing that such extreme punishment would be meted out to a person who has not committed a violent or criminal act, and who was simply and peacefully sharing written materials.
We are also concerned about the fairness of Mr. Kambaksh’s trial, in particular with due process. Concerns about these issues were highlighted by the UN Special Rapporteur in October 2002 and in 2003, in which the UN Commission on Human Rights called on the Afghan government to "declare a moratorium on the death penalty in the light of procedural and substantive flaws in the Afghan judicial system."

We respectfully call upon you, Mr. President, to lift the death sentence against Mr. Pervez Kambakhsh and pardon him from any other punishments for his “crime”. We also ask that you take steps to ensure that freedom of press and speech are indeed fully guaranteed in your Afghanistan.

1- Stephen R. Arnold, MA The Hamilton Spectator business reporter
2- Daniel Nolan The Hamilton Spectator reporter
3- Suzanne Bourret The Hamilton Spectator reporter
4- John Burman The Hamilton Spectator reporter
5- Julie Payne CJFE Manager (Canadian Journalists for free expression)
6- Katherine Govier Freelance writer, professor
7- John Kernaghan The Hamilton Spectator reporter
8- Marta Soltys Writer
9- Terry Asma The Hamilton Spectator photographer
10- Margaret Mironowicz The Hamilton Spectator reporter
11- Wade Hemsworth Reporter
12- Shaun Herron The Hamilton Spectator news editor
13- Mohsin Abbas The Hamilton Spectator reporter
14-Ashoke Dasgupta Freelance reporter
15-Petronila Cleto Writer from McMaster university
16- Sakhi Oruzgani Writer
17- Yar Sana Edito-in chief of Andisha-e-naw
18- Consuelo Sardon Professor
19- Baskey T RajJohn Reporter
20-ZangChro Zand freelance writer
21-Shamnam Janani Salam Toronto reporter
22-Milan Marki writer
23-Savia Raagopta Content editor
24- Ignafiow Sellih reporter
25-Tanveer Khan freelance writer
26-Hamid Zarabi editor-in-chief of Ashian
27- Khalid A. reporter
28- Nikash Amit Human rights activist
29-Carole Liu
30-Samina Tauhid
31-Muhammad Abid
32-Emma Bellran
33- Edna Amardor
34- Ani Yilolorim
35- Nadeem Chaudhry
36- Fahim Naqui
37- Kaziwa Salih Freelance writer
38- Sara Perks Reporter
39- Mohammad Qasim Wafayezadah writer
40- Yar M Taraki MA artist
41- Agnes Bongers The Hamilton spectator weekend readers editor
42- Ross Longbottom reporter
43- Hussain Zahedi reporter
44- Amir Hamza Haidari Afghan- Australian journalist
45- Pedro Valdez President of Human Rights Press
46- Mir Hussain Mahdavi reporter

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Afghan reporter sentenced to death

A court in the northern Afghanistan sentenced an Afghan reporter to death Tuesday for defaming Islam.The court found local newspaper reporter Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, 23, guilty of blasphemy.The trial was held behind closed door in Mazar-e-Sharif, the northern city of Balkh province without the reporter’s defense lawyer present. His brother, fellow journalist Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, told Reporters Without Borders: "I saw my brother leave the court. He was very anxious. All the family was, too."Sayed Perwiz was arrested the middle of October. The arrest came after conservative religious leaders contended that one of his article published on Jahan-e-Naw ( the New World) newspaper is against Islam.