Beyond the Veil| Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, a student sentenced to death in Afghanistan for trying to promote women’s rights, has been freed from prison, according to London’s The Independent newspaper, who collected more than 100,000 signatures to release him.
Ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the government resulted in Kambaksh being pardoned by Afghan president Karzai and then flown quietly out of the country.
Mr Kambaksh was originally arrested in October 2006 after some students and staff at his university in Mazar-i-Sharif in the north of the country accused him of disseminating material on women’s rights which “insulted Islam”. He was charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death at a trial three months later. He told The Independent from his cell in Balkh prison that a “confession” had been beaten out of him and he had not been allowed legal representation or allowed to speak during the four-minute hearing behind closed doors.