Afghanistan: UN urges review of death sentence against journalist
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) today urged the country's authorities to review the death sentence imposed against Sayed Parwez Kambaksh, a journalist who this week was sentenced to capital punishment for blasphemy.
"The pressures for punishment, warnings to journalists, as well as the holding of this case in closed session without Mr. Kamabaksh having legal representation point to possible misuse of the judicial process," said the mission in a statement. "This would not serve the cause of justice."
The statement issued by a UNAMA spokesperson pointed out that Afghanistan's Constitution commits the country to upholding Islamic and universal human rights values, "which are clearly compatible.
The mission urged a "proper and complete review" of the case against Mr. Kamabaksh as it goes through the appeals process.
"Cases involving religion and freedom of expression occur in many countries and require care and sensitivity in their handling," the mission said.