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Afghan Student Receives Death Sentence

A 23 year old student journalist in northern Afghanistan has been sentenced to death by a 3 judge panel for passing around material he printed off the internet. The subject matter supposedly blasphemed Islam by questioning Muhammad’s views on women’s rights. But the media groups in the region believe the student, Sayed Perwiz Kaambaksh, was actually arrested in retaliation for articles written by his brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, who is well known for pieces such as "The Dancing Boys of The North;. This and other articles seek to expose the wrongdoings of provincial authorities and warlords. Kaambaksh was tried behind closed doors and without any legal representation, and is being viewed around the world as a imminent sign that oppressive forces are still at large 6 years after the demise of the Taliban. The U.S. State Department has criticized the ruling, and the executive director of the American Islamic Congress, Zainab Al-Suwaij, called the sentence "an insult to all Muslims of conscience, who must demand his immediate release."

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