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Afghan Receives Death Penalty For Downloading and Distributing Women's Rights Article

Pervez Kambaksh is accused of downloading and then distributing reports on women’s rights. The student claims he was tortured until he confessed.

Kambaksh represented himself in the case after fundamentalist groups threatened to kill anyone who dared represent him. He was convicted for blasphemy during a four-minute trial back in January but appealed the charges yesterday.

The prosecution claimed that Mr Kambaksh had disrupted classes at the university by asking questions about women’s rights under Islam. It then claimed he distributed an article on the subject (downloaded from the internet) after writing an additional three paragraphs including the phrase "This is the real face of Islam ... The prophet Mohamad wrote verses of the holy Koran just for his own benefit."

Mr Kambaksh released a statement saying he would never allow himself to write such an article and that the false accusations stem from two professors and student supporters who he claims have “private hostilities against him”.

The head of the panel of three judges, Abdul Salaam Qazizada, adjourned the trial until next Sunday to allow Kambaksh additional time to find a lawyer.

The Independent