2008: Afghanistan: Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh

Bergen, 24. October 2008

His Excellency Hamid Karzai
President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan
Kabul
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Mr Hameed Nasry Wardak
Spokesperson
Ministry of Information and Cultural Affairs
Afghanistan
Tel: +93 700 989 696
E-mail: hameednasry@yahoo.com

Mr Humayun Hamidzada
Spokesperson for President Karzai
Afghanistan
Tel: +93 797 163 355
E-mail: bafir.ayoubi@gmail.com

Your Excellency,

As a member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN, I am deeply concerned by the twenty-year sentence handed down to journalist and twenty-three year old Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh.
Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh has been sentenced by a Kabul appeal court on 21 October 2008, which commuted the death sentence but upheld his conviction for «blasphemy».  Kambakshsh detained by National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces on blasphemy charges after allegedly downloading and distributing to friends an article that said the Prophet Mohammed ignored women’s rights. Kambakhsh was not the author of the article. He was also reportedly accused of possessing allegedly anti-Islamic books and starting un-Islamic debates in his classes.
I seek your assurance, Your Excellency President Karzai, to intervene to secure his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Afghan law and Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Confident that you, Your Excellency, will take action accordingly, I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Trine Kleven
Member of Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN

COPIES TO:
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
National Day: 19 August – National Day
Chancery: Kronprinsens gate 17, 0244 Oslo
Telephone: 22 83 84 10
Telefax: 22 83 84 11
E-mail: info@afghanistanembassy.no
Web-site: www.afghanistanembassy.no

2008: Afghanistan: Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh

10th June 2008

His Excellency Hamid Karzai
President of the Islamic State of Afhanistan
Kabul

Your Excellency,

Regarding Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh

From the non-political organisation of writers PEN International, I learn with dismay and alarm of the detention, since 27th October last year, and the ensuing death sentence of student of journalism Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh.

The health condition of the detainee is reported to have deteriorated considerably during his time in prison, and it seem that he is not given appropriate medical treatment. It is also reported that the trial was held behind closed doors and without legal representation, thus not after internationally acknowledged standards of legal practice.

Mr Kambakhsh is accused of distributing allegedly anti-Islamic literature, by handing out an article which he himself had not written. He was also reportedly accused of possessing anti-Islamic books and starting un-Islamic debates in classes.  Mr Kambakhsh denies the accusations of blasphemy.

It seems obvious to PEN than the detainee is accused for practising his right to free expression, as laid down in  Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We are deeply shocked at the death sentence handed down to him. We call for Your Excellency to intervene to secure his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Afghan law.

Your Excellency, I urge you to look into the case at your earliest convenience, and am confident that you will pay attention to this appeal.

Yours sincerely

Aase Gjerdrum
Member of Writers in Prison Committee

CC by e-mail to Mr Humayun Hamidzada
and to Mr Hameed Nasry Wardak