Afghanistan: Afghan journalist detained for "blasphemy"
Kambakhsh was accused of mocking Islam and the holy book, the Koran, and for distributing an article which said Prophet Mohammad had ignored the rights of women.
Activists gathered outside at the Human Rights Commission's office in Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh, demanding the journalist's release.
Habibullah Habib, the head of Balkh University, said Kambakhsh was detained following accusations by his classmates and an investigation had begun.
Kambakhsh's brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi who is also a journalist, said the charges were false.
Security officials refused to comment on the matter.
Blasphemy is punishable by death in Islam and Afghanistan is a deeply conservative Islamic country.
Since the ousting of Taliban's radical Islamic government in 2001, dozens of newspapers and other publications, some funded by foreigners, have sprung up in Afghanistan which is going through an unprecedented wave of press freedom in its history.
Several years ago, two journalists were detained for making blasphemous comments, but the pair managed to escape and have been given asylum in a Western country.
In 2006, an Afghan facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity was freed and given asylum in Italy after intervention from Western leaders.
By: Sayed Salahuddin, Sanjeev Miglani and Tahir Qadiry
12 January 2008
- Forbidden from riding bikes, fearless Afghan girls are skateboarding around Kabul
- Tens of female students poisoned in Samangan
- Afghan clerics uneasy as civil rights movement gains momentum
- Egyptian activist Mahinour El-Masry arrested again
- Farkhunda murder: Afghan judge sentences four to death over mob killing
- Egypt: Judicial harassment of Ms. Azza Soliman
- Please acquit and release Asia Bibi
- Over 220 Global Organizations Call for Immediate Release of Seven Imprisoned Women Human Rights Defenders in Egypt
- Send your support to Yara Sallam and other human rights defenders imprisoned in Egypt
- URGENT: Join the international campaign against Egypt’s repressive protest law!