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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

MBDA UK Ltd: Electronic Sub-System Design Verification engineer

Flexible working, annual bonus, pension & more.: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the oppor...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Architect

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? MBDA has e...

MBDA UK Ltd: Test Systems Design Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

MBDA UK Ltd: PCB Technologies Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity?MBDA has en...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor