< /head > Colorado Coalition for Human Rights: Afghan Journalist to Be Freed

Friday, December 23, 2005

Afghan Journalist to Be Freed

From the Washington Post:

An Afghan journalist who was recently sentenced to two years in prison for publishing controversial magazine articles about Islam, women's rights and the Afghan justice system will be released from jail later this week, officials said.
Before gaining his freedom, however, Ali Mohaqeq Nasab had to confront an agonizing choice: formally apologize for what he had published or risk being sent to the gallows. After refusing for three months to retract his comments, Nasab told an appeals court this week that he was sorry for printing stories that asserted women should be given status equal to men in court, questioned the use of physical punishments for crimes and suggested converts from Islam should not face execution.
A panel of three judges responded Wednesday by shortening his punishment to a six-month suspended sentence, allowing him to walk free.
The case has aroused concern among international human rights groups and stirred contradictory passions in Afghanistan. Religious hard-liners here had called for Nasab's death; free speech advocates, women's rights backers and fellow ethnic Hazaras had asked that he be shown mercy.

Click here to read the full article.

--Tom Hayes


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