Afghan protest: 'He just shared an article with friends. What's the problem?'

One the streets of the Afghan capital last night, public opinion on the fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh was divided. Residents of Kabul are invariably more secular than people in rural areas but, even so, they have mixed views on whether Mr Kambaksh deserves to die.

Madina, a 17-year-old journalism student at Kabul University, said that his execution would represent a terrifying return to Taliban-style injustice, and urged the courts to pardon her fellow student.

She said: "They should forgive him. He is young. He is a student. He just printed something off the internet – he should not lose his life. We should not go back to the Taliban times. We should think of something new, we should engage with him, we should talk to him and listen to his opinion."

Metra Khonari, a 20-year-old flight attendant, said the case offered a chance to overhaul the legal system. "In a free country, everyone should have the right to criticise religion," she said. "We shouldn't go backwards. Conservative people should not be allowed to victimise the young. It was not a fair trial, the court was not free and he didn't have a proper defence." Under the oppressive Taliban regime Ms Khonari would have been banned from working. She added: "We should reform our justice system because most of the judges have been educated in madrassas. They have not had a proper, modern education."

Mr Kambaksh's plight has been widely reported in the Afghan media, and everyone you meet seems to have an opinion.

Najibullah, a 25-year-old Kabul shopkeeper, said: "He just shared an article with his friends. He didn't write it, so what's the problem?"

Sale Mohammed, a 19-year-old student, said it was up to human rights groups to intervene. "I really disapprove of the court's decision," he added. "He just wanted to show his friends what he had found in a report. I want the human rights commission to help us to release him."

Mir Ahmadi Joyinda, an Afghan MP, said: "It is unacceptable and unbelievable. We have laws about the media but he did not have a fair trial. We want him released."

But there were also those, young and old, who approved of the sharia court's ruling. Abdul Wasi Tokhi, an 18-year-old student at the American University in Kabul, called for a swift execution. He said: "The guy should be hanged. He was making fun of Islam's rules and regulations. He was making fun of the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him. You cannot criticise any principles which have been approved by sharia. It is the words of the Prophet."

Qari Imam Bakhsh, a Muslim cleric, agreed, saying: "I think he is not a Muslim. A Muslim would not make this kind of mistake. He should be punished so that others can learn from him."

Click here to have your say

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there