In Afghanistan recently Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh, a reporter for a daily paper and a journalism student, thought he had freedom of speech.
He was wrong.
He downloaded an Iranian article which pointed out that Mohammad had ignored women’s fundamental rights. The young man was arrested and charged with blasphemy. It’s amazing how blasphemy and the truth are often the same thing. He’s been in prison for three months (so far) and was tried without a lawyer. Naturally, he was sentenced to death. He can appeal the decision, of course. He gets three appeals before they stand him against a wall and cut him in half with a Kalashnikov.
Kambakhsh probably won’t end up in front the Kalashnikovs. He has a brother who’s a reporter and Reporters Without Borders are on the job getting worldwide attention brought to this case.
This case. How many thousands are killed or terrified into silence because they know their brother herds goats and won’t be able to get their story on Reuters? The “Qatif Girl” got a reprieve from the Saudi king after being sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison for the crime of being raped. Her male protector was not a close relative, that’s a crime in Saudi Arabia. But she got off because some watchdog group noticed her case and she was saved. Thousands are not saved.
And here we have a case of a man sentenced to death for the crime of distributing an article which suggested that this bloody minded barbarism might be wrong.
It’s Islamic public relations in action. Again.