"Afghan justice is under the influence of fundamentalists"

An Afghan student has been condemned to 20 years in prison for having downloaded and handed out a text, found on an Iranian blog, about sexual inequality in the Koran.

Afghan student Perwiz Kambakhsh received a 20 year prison sentence for "blasphemy" on 21 October. He had been originally sentenced to death after a basic trial.

His lawyer, Mohammad Afzal Nooristani, gives his account.

"I'm not surprised that Perwiz has been sentenced to twenty years in prison, because the Afghan justice is under the influence of fundamentalists. Most of the judges have graduated from a Madrassa where they've only studied theology, not law. That's why they don't respect the Afghani law and the criminal procedure. Most of the judges had only six month's training to familiarise themselves with the judicial system, which is not enough at all.

Perwiz denied downloading and distributing an article criticising Islam about the inequality between men and women, and even if he did it, it's not a crime regarding the law. He may have been targeted because of his brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi. He's a reporter who's investigated the political situation in northern Afghanistan, more precisely, warlords and their related groups.

My client's case will be re-examined by the Supreme Court in five months. Fortunately, some of the judges there have studied law and have a different approach, so we can expect a better judgment."



Read that website and forget

Read that website and forget the religions :


20 year sentence

This is the ignorant western goverments thinking these countries want to join the western world.got to laugh.ps cant see due process of law has anything to do with the absurdity of the sentence it still run by the taliban whichever way you want to look at it.not the delusion you living in the belief its the processs of law.

Pay close attention to what Afzal is saying

I have to disagree with Mr. Walker's comment because although Western Governments are often ignorant what is at issue here is whether Afghan Judges are willing to apply their own law and procedures. The fact that certain officials are unaware of or disagree with the written law does not make them Taliban. Many years of war have severely disrupted the educational system and government institutions and allowed corruption and warlordism to flourish. What we see results more from those factors than from an organised movement. Fundamentalism is sometimes a just a convenient weapon for the unfortunate status quo.