Yaqub Ibrahimi: Powerful criminals are playing games with an innocent man

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The Independent Online

This is a bad day for Afghanistan. People want justice, but this shows that justice is impossible. People want fairness, not only for my brother, but for the whole of Afghanistan, because everyone is a victim of this.

My brother is an innocent man. He has already spent more than a year in jail, and he's been sentenced to 20 more years in prison. But the warlords and the murderers who are in power, they are free. It's a joke. People are angry.

Last year there were protests in 15 provinces on a single day, to try to get justice for Pervez. The people who marched were marching for democracy, marching for justice, and they have been disappointed. These people are the future of Afghanistan, but they have been ignored by the people who are fighting against democracy and against human rights. They are fundamentalists. Some of them are criminals. Some of them are powerful. Some of them are in the government, and they are playing political games with the fate of an innocent man.

They don't care about my brother, and they don't care about the rule of law. But we know their time will end. These fundamentalists have put pressure on the court. No one expected this cruel and unjust decision, and we are all in shock.

When we moved the case to Kabul we thought we would get justice. We thought we could trust the courts. We thought we could trust the judges.

We were wrong. There is no rule of law, not even at the Supreme Court in Kabul, so what chance have people in the provinces got?

When I saw my brother yesterday he was in shock and very concerned about his safety. But he knows how many people are supporting him, and that gives him strength. It gives me strength, too.

Right now we don't know what to do. The legal process is exhausted. We are facing many difficulties, but we cannot give up.

We must struggle for justice. We must struggle for free speech. Our society cannot live without these values.

God willing, we will win.

The author is Pervez's brother