AFGHANS PROTEST AGAINST DEATH SENTENCE FOR REPORTER
January 31, 2008: around 200 Afghans demonstrated in the nation's capital Kabul against the death sentence passed against a reporter convicted of blasphemy. The case against 23 year old Perwiz Kambakhsh, sentenced to death last week for mocking Islam and the Koran, has attracted international attention with the United States, the United Nations and right groups all expressing concern. Some 200 men and women belonging to the small Solidarity Party of Afghanistan protested in front of the main UN office in Kabul.
"We want the safe release of Mr. Kambakhsh and we will continue to protest until our voices are heard," said Sameera, a young woman.
"This statement by Afghan lawmakers is a shocking confirmation of intolerance and a lack of respect for free speech," the International Federation of Journalists said, calling on its members to urge President Hamid Karzai to overturn the sentence. (Sources: Reuters, 31/01/2008)