22 Oct 2008

Reporter escapes death sentence for blasphemy

8:45 am on 22 October 2008

An appeal court in Afghanistan has overturned a death sentence against a journalism student who was convicted of blasphemy.

Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, 23, a reporter with the Jahan-e Now daily, was sentenced to death in January by a court in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

He downloaded a document about women and Islam from the internet last year.

Under Islamic law - stipulated in Afghanistan's constitution - blasphemy is punishable by death.

His plight prompted an international campaign to save him and the court has reduced the sentence to 20 years in prison.