KABUL, Afghanistan - A student journalist convicted of violating Islamic law in Afghanistan may escape the death penalty, a senior official in the Afghan government said.
An Afghan court found Sayed Pervez Kambaksh guilty of violating Islamic law for distributing information regarding women's rights. Afghan law holds violations of Islamic law a federal offense and a court imposed a death penalty.
The Independent Wednesday quoted Najib Manalai with the Afghanistan Culture Ministry saying of the case, "I am not worried for his life. I'm sure Afghanistan's justice system will find the best way to avoid this sentence."
Louise Arbour, a human rights advocate with the United Nations, reminded the Afghan government of its responsibility to protect freedom of speech and the sentence invoked an international outcry to pardon Kambaksh.
Manalai said violating Islamic law is "one of the biggest offenses you can make" but added Islam teaches avoiding the punishment of someone who isn't guilty.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai can pardon death sentences but government sources told the newspaper Karzai wanted to see the verdict overturned on appeal.
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