Independent launches campaign to stop Afghan journalist's execution

The Independent has today launched a petition to save an Afghan student journalist sentenced to death for blasphemy.

In its front page story today, the Independent called for international pressure to be brought to bear on the Afghan government to overturn Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh’s death sentence for blasphemy.

It launched an e-petition at www.independent.co.uk/petition after the Afghan Senate passed a motion yesterday confirming the death sentence.

Kaambakhsh was found guilty of mocking Islam after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justfiied the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the propher Mohamed.

Kaambakhsh, 23, distributed the article to students and teachers at Balkh University, to provoke debate, he said. But a complaint was made against him and he was tried by religious judges without legal representation, his family said.

The Institute of War and Peace Reporting has called the case against Kammbakhsh a fabrication, designed by warlords in Northern Afghanistan to silence his brother,Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi. He is a journalist who has written investigative reports exposing human rights abuses.

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