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Afghanistan president will not block student death sentence

[JURIST] Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [official website; BBC profile] is concerned about the imposition of the death penalty against journalism student Sayad Parwez Kambaksh but will not intervene in the case pending Kambaksh's appeal, a presidential spokesman said Tuesday. Under Article 64 of the Afghanistan Constitution [text], Afghanistan's president may reduce penalties and grant pardons in accordance with provisions of Afghan law. In January, Kambaksh was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death [JURIST report] for distributing papers questioning why Islam permitted men to have up to four wives while women cannot have multiple husbands.

A three-judge panel, following a recommendation from the Afghan Council of Mullahs, invoked Article 130 of the Afghanistan Constitution on judicial discretion and sentenced Kambaksh to death. Kambaksh has received international support [RWB report] from Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website], as well as the European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering [official website]. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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