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."