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Afghanistan: Presidential pardon for journalist who published translation of Koran

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned former journalist Ahmed Ghous Zalmai, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2008 for publishing a translation of the Koran into Dari (the Persian dialect spoken in Afghanistan), according to Reporters sans Frontières (RSF).

Issued a few days ahead of the Persian New Year festival of Nawruz, the pardon also affects Mohammad Ateef Noori, the printer, and Qari Mushtaq, the mullah who approved the translation.

“President Karzai is repairing an injustice in which three men were severely punished for just wanting to promote understanding of the Koran within the Dari-speaking population,” Paris-based RSF said.

An Afghan culture ministry official confirmed to RSF that the three men have already been freed. International Pen, for its part, was able to speak to the Zalmai family after his release.

Date posted: April 1, 2010 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 105