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Protesters in Kabul Call for Release of Detained Afghan Journalist


About 200 Afghans have demonstrated in Kabul against a death sentence given to an Afghan reporter accused of blasphemy.

The protesters marched to the United Nations office in the capital Thursday, calling for the immediate release of Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh.

An Afghan court sentenced the 23-year-old journalism student to death last week for defaming Islam. He was detained in late October, 2007 for distributing articles about the role of women in Muslim society.

The case has attracted international attention with the United States and several human right groups expressing concern.

The Paris-based media rights group Reporters Without Borders Thursday said authorities should quickly reexamine the case. It added that Kambakhsh and his family have been receiving death threats.

Under Islamic law stipulated in Afghanistan's constitution, blasphemy is punishable by death. But Afghan President Hamid Karzai has to approve any death sentences before they are carried out.

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