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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Koran case ends with prison terms

February 16, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

An appeals court in Afghanistan upheld 20-year prison sentences for two men who published a translation of the Koran that brought calls for their execution from religious leaders.

The panel ruled that the men were guilty of modifying the Koran, a crime punishable by death. However, the three-judge panel reiterated a lower court sentence of 20 years each.

The text is a translation of Islam's holy book into an Afghan language without the original Arabic alongside. Muslims regard the Arabic Koran as words given directly by God. A translation is not considered a Koran itself, and it is believed that a mistranslation could warp God's word.

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