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World Briefing / Afghanistan

Reporter freed in blasphemy case

September 08, 2009|Times Wire Reports

An Afghan journalist, whose death sentence for blasphemy was reduced to 20 years in prison on appeal, has been released and is living in exile in an undisclosed country, a media watchdog said.

Parwez Kambakhsh, 24, a reporter with the Afghan Jahan-e Now daily, was sentenced to death in January 2008 by a court in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. He was arrested and imprisoned for downloading and distributing an Iranian article from the Internet that said the prophet Muhammad had ignored the rights of women.

In a statement on its website, Reporters Without Borders said Kambakhsh's lawyer had confirmed the release and that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had signed a pardon several weeks earlier. Karzai's office was not immediately available for comment.

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