“Clutching the bars at his prison, Sayed Pervez Kambaksh recalls how his life unravelled. “There was no question of me getting a lawyer to represent me in the case; in fact I was not even able to speak on my own defence.” The 23-year-old student, whose death sentence for downloading a report on women’s rights from the internet has become an international cause c?l?bre, was speaking to The Independent at his jail in Mazar-i-Sharif – the first time the outside world has heard his own account of his shattering experience. In a voice soft, somewhat hesitant, he said: “The judges had made up their mind about the case without me. The way they talked to me, looked at me, was the way they look at a condemned man. I wanted to say ‘this is wrong, please listen to me’, but I was given no chance to explain.
For Mr Kambaksh the four-minute hearing has led to four months of incarceration, sharing a 10 by 12 metre cell with 34 others — murderers, robbers and terrorists – and having the threat of execution constantly hanging over him. His fate appeared sealed when the Afghan senate passed a motion, proposed by Sibghatullkah Mojeddeid, a key ally of the President Hamid Karzai, confirming the death sentence, although this was later withdrawn after domestic and international protests.”
(via The Independent)
(Petition for Saudi woman accused of witchcraft)
February 25, 2008 at 9:54 pm
Tens of thousands of Muslims all over the world are protesting the sentencing of these poor men and women. They are holding peaceful rallies demonstrating clearly and consistantly that these sorts of things are not done in their name, that they are done by a minority of extremists.
Not really. The important message of Irshad Manji is that the ‘extremists’ are the majority. Tens of thousands will march in the street and kill people protesting comics in newspapers, but they get all hush-hush when it’s time to not kill someone.
February 25, 2008 at 9:55 pm
To clarify: the ‘extremists’ of Islam are the majority.