Sayed Pervez Kambaksh
Sayed Parwez Kambaksh (also Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh or Sayed Parwez Kaambaksh or Sayed Pervez Kambaksh) was born 24 July 1984 in Afghanistan. In late 2007, he was a student at Balkh University and a journalist for Jahan-e-Naw (New World), a daily. On 27 October 2007, police arrested Kambaksh, and accused him of "blasphemy and distribution of texts defamatory of Islam". The authorities claimed that Kambaksh distributed writing posted on the Internet by Arash Bikhoda (Arash the atheist). Bikoda's writing criticizes the treatment of women under Islamic Law.
On 22 January 2008, the Primary Court in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif sentenced Kambaksh to death for "blasphemy and distribution of texts defamatory of Islam". The court's chief judge said, "He insulted the prophet Mohammed. He called him a murderer and a womanizer." The court relied on Kambaksh's confession. Kambaksh denounced the confession as a product of torture. On 29 January 2008, the Upper House of Parliament issued a declaration supporting the death sentence but quickly retracted it because of a technical error.
Kambaksh appealed to the Supreme Court. On 11 or 12 February 2009, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals.
In 2015 it was revealed that Kambaksh had already fled Afghanistan before his amnesty with the help of high-ranking Norwegian and Swedish diplomats. Kambaksh was smuggled out of Afghanistan in secret on board the Swedish government's jet also carrying visiting Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt. This exceptional action had been undertaken according to Bildt in an interview with Expressen after Karzai had refused pleas of amnesty by Nordic diplomats on Kambaksh's behalf.
- Mineeia, Zainab (21 October 2008). "Afghanistan: Journalist Serving 20 Years for "Blasphemy"". IPS (Inter Press Service). Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- Wiseman, Paul (31 January 2008). "Afghan student's death sentence hits nerve". USA Today. Retrieved 13 July 2009.
- "2008 Report on International Religious Freedom - Afghanistan". United States Department of State. 19 September 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
- Sengupta, Kim; Jerome Starkey (2 February 2008). "Lifeline for Pervez: Afghan Senate withdraws demand for death sentence". The Independent. Retrieved 13 October 2008.
- Adams, Brad (10 March 2009). "Afghanistan: 20-Year Sentence for Journalist Upheld". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- Sengupta, Kim (7 September 2009). "Free at last: Student in hiding after Karzai's intervention". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
- Svensson, Niklas (22 January 2015). "Carl Bildt räddade livet på dödsdömd student". Expressen. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
- "Afghan student 'escaped' on secret Swedish plane". The Local Sweden. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
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