Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


NZ Govt protests Afghan journalist death penalty

16 February 2008 embargoed 9.00am Media Statement

NZ Govt protests Afghan journalist death penalty

New Zealand has made representations to the Government of Afghanistan over the death sentence passed on an Afghan journalism student for distributing a report considered to be blasphemous and offensive to Islam.

“The New Zealand government has made a particular effort to support the strengthening of human rights in Afghanistan through funding for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission,” Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

“We are deeply concerned by the sentence passed on this young man for exercising freedom of speech.

“Afghanistan presents a difficult environment for journalism, with increasing threats and intimidation reported against journalists,” Helen Clark said.

Sayed Parweiz Kambakhsh distributed and used the report, about women’s rights in Islam, as a basis for discussion during lectures at Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. He was then tried and sentenced to death by the Balkh Province primary court on 22 January. He has appealed the sentence.

“Mr Kambakhsh‘s detention and trial have been marked by a number of irregularities, including the fact that he had no legal counsel.

“His case is reported to have been raised with President Karzai by US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband during their recent visit to Afghanistan.

“Our representations to the Government of Afghanistan about this case have been made through the New Zealand Ambassador to Afghanistan, resident in Tehran.”

”President Karzai has given assurances that justice will be done in this case. I believe it is important that New Zealand adds its voice to those of others concerned for the future of this young man,” Helen Clark said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election