On Tuesday 21 October, we welcomed the news that the death sentence handed down to Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh at a reportedly unfair trial in January had been overturned. However, we are outraged that he was instead sentenced to twenty years imprisonment, particularly in light of the fact that, according to legal experts, ‘the court had the power to uphold or set aside the death sentence, but it had no right to “arbitrarily” impose a jail term.’
Kambakhsh’s lawyer has filed an appeal against his conviction which is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court on Sunday 26 October 2008. However, that will be his final recourse.
International pressure has led to the quashing of the death sentence, but further pressure will be required to prevent this young man spending the next twenty years in jail. As such, we have now started an online petition for members and friends of English PEN wishing to protest against Kambakhsh’s sentence.
Please do take a couple of minutes to sign the petition by following this link:
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/afghanistanpetitionforafghanstudent/