The decision to invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban from its dictatorial rule was made in hope the liberated nation could achieve a new birth of freedom. President Bush proclaimed the need to drive from power a group of medieval minded clerics who had crushed all forces of secularism. In an interview with a reporter from England’s The Independent, Pervez Kambaksh, described the farce of a so-called judicial process conducted by medieval minded clerics. “There was no question of me getting a lawyer to present me in the case, in fact I was not even able to speak on my own defence.” The 23 year-old student who was sentenced to death for the crime of downloding material from the Internet dealing with women rights now sits in a jail awaiting his fate.
The four minute hearing has resulted in a four month jailing where he is in a 10 by 12 metre cell with 34 others, including murderers, robbers and terrorists. Nearly 360 prisoners are packed into a facility designed to handle 200. Among the inmates are 22 women conicted of dserting their husbands and adultery. The Independent took up his case and so far has gathered over 90,000 signatures on a petition to free him. Its campaign also resulted in an international furor over the incident. Mr. Kambaksh was charged with writing the aritcle but no proof was given for the accusation. He describes going to a court where three judges and the prosecutor declared the death sentence.
The issue is not whether or not he wrote an article since writing an article should never be a crime. The issue is what has happened to the effort to create freedom and democracy in Afghanistan. Why are women imprisoned for leaving husbands or for adultery? Are any Afghan males imprisoned for leaving wives or adultery? Why are NATO and American forces risking their lives to protect a group of bigoted clerics? In which way are those we defend different from those we oppose? The Bush Afghanistan policy has failed in the same manner as his policy in Iraq. Nearly four thousand Americans have died so women can be oppressed and bigotry rule unchecked.