L’UAAR ha inviato al presidente afghano Hamid Karzai una richiesta di grazia per Parwiz Kambakhsh, il giovane studente di giornalismo condannato a 20 anni di carcere (in primo grado, addirittura, alla pena capitale) per blasfemia, avendo citato il Corano a supporto della sua richiesta di riconoscimento dei diritti delle donne. La condanna a 20 anni è stata confermata dalla Corte Suprema afghana il mese scorso e resa nota ieri dal New York Times. Qui sotto il testo della lettera (in inglese):
I write on behalf of the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics, the organization who represents the Italian unbelievers.
We appeal to you to pardon the journalist Parwiz Kambakhsh, confirmation of whose sentence of 20 years in prison for alleged blasphemy has just been reported.
Mr. Kambakhsh was convicted (and – grotesquely – was originally sentenced to death) merely for distributing copies of an article from the Internet referring to verses of the Quran supporting women’s rights. This is a flagrant abuse of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in breach both of the right to freedom of expression and the freedom of religion or belief. The growing threats to journalists and to general freedom of speech in your country are a matter for the gravest concern: another journalist, Ghows Zalmai, has reportedly been sentenced to 20 years in prison for blasphemy for publishing a translation of the Koran that some Muslim clerics disliked.
Besides, Parwiz Kambakhsh’s trial was flawed by improper procedures. At the original trial he was not allowed to defend himself. At the appeal, no notice was taken of the withdrawal of a key prosecution witness’s statement. In the Supreme Court, his defence counsel, Afzal Nooristani was denied the right to address the judges and officials.
We therefore urge you to pardon Parwiz Kambakhsh immediately and to ensure that the religious courts are prevented from ever instituting such proceedings again.
Raffaele Carcano, segretario UAAR