Kambaksh thanks Independent after death sentence lifted

An Afghan journalism student has thanked The Independent for helping to save his life after he was jailed for 20 years for downloading information from the internet about women’s rights.

Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, 24, was sentenced to death but yesterday Afghanistan’s appeal court commuted his sentence to jail.

After the hearing Kambaksh said, according to the Independent:

“I was, of course, hoping to be freed, but the fact that they have said I no longer face the death sentence is a big relief. I really did not think I would last this long. I thought they would make sure that I disappeared. Hearing the judge say that long sentence was very surprising, but I now just want to continue with the legal cases and, hopefully, I’ll get freed. I also want to say I am very grateful to everyone, especially The Independent, for what they have done so far and I would be very grateful if they would continue to support me.”

Kambaksh was convicted in January 2007 after being accused of distributing material on women’s rights which “insulted Islam”. He has been in prison since.

Amnesty International has called for him to be freed immediately.

The Independent’s campaign attracted 100,000 supporters of a petition to free Kambaksh and featured on the paper’s front page numerous times.

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