Afghanistan and freedom of expression

Freedom of expression does not exist under the government that we prop up in Afghanistan. That sad truth of that was verified yet again as Reuters reported, “Afghanistan’s appeal court sentenced an Afghan journalist to 20 years in jail, commuting an earlier death sentence, for distributing an Internet article that said the Prophet Mohammad had ignored the rights of women.”

The sentence raises “further concerns of judicial propriety in the case,” noted the New York Times. It reported, “The defendant, Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, 23, was a student in journalism in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif and worked for a daily newspaper there. He was arrested last October and accused of printing and distributing an article from the Internet about Islam and women’s rights, on which he had written some comments about the Prophet Muhammad’s failings on that issue.”

An Associated Press report on the CBC website said Kambakhsh’s material asked why a Muslim man may have four wives but women can’t have multiple husbands, and said Muslim fundamentalists err in their interpretation of the Qur’an by insisting women have to be subject to men. It noted “Kambakhsh has said he was forbidden to speak in his own defence.”

Several reports and analysts suggest said the prosecution of Kambakhsh was really aimed to silence his older brother, investigative human rights journalist Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi.

Reporters Without Borders called the decision “shameful.”

Canadian, and other NATO soldiers, are dying in Afghanistan to defend what, exactly?