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Lawyer seeks release for Afghan reporter on death row

An Afghan girl holds a picture of Perwiz KambakhshPhoto: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

The lawyer of Afghan reporter Sayed Parvez Kambakhsh sentenced to death on blasphemy charges accused authorities Thursday of holding his client beyond a legal deadline, as the young man neared a full year in detention, says an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.

The appeal of Kambakhsh -- arrested last October and sentenced to death by a primary court in January -- has been repeatedly delayed because witnesses who had first testified against him did not turn up to court.

Some details from the AFP report:

"Based on the law, an appeal court can hold a suspect only for two months. Within this two months, it either should rule or otherwise the suspect must be freed," lawyer Mohammad Afzal Shormach Nuristani told reporters.

Nuristani said he had challenged the appeal court in June to present 12 people who had apparently testified against Kambakhsh in his northern home town of Mazar-i-Sharif. "They can't hold my client because the witnesses don't turn up. This is against the law," Nuristani said.

The reporter, in his early 20s, has alleged torture during his custody. He has said the primary court trial which sentenced him to death 10 months ago lasted only minutes and he was not given legal representation.

Date posted: October 16, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 374