Saturday, February 02, 2008

Afghanistan Solidarity Party: "Unite against the threats and fascism of the warlords"

At least 200 members of the Afghanistan Solidarity Party staged a lively demonstration in Kabul yesterday to demand the release of death-row journalist Sayed Parwaz Kaambakhsh. The demonstrators marched to the United Nations office carrying banners that read "Unite against the threats and fascism of the warlords" and chanting "Parwez, we are with you."

Meanwhile, just a day after the Afghan Senate adopted a motion backing Sayed's religious-court death sentence, it's now retreating. A Senate spokesman now says the motion had been a "technical mistake," and that while religious courts can pass judgment in cases of distributing "un-Islamic" materials, Sayed's legal rights should be protected, and he should have had a defence lawyer when he faced the judge-clerics.

It's heartening to see the Afghanistan Solidarity Party making a comeback after key party leader and co-founder Lal Mohammad was beheaded by the Taliban three years ago.

The Solidarity Party stands for "women's rights, democracy, and secular society, a disarming of the country, and freedom of the press." These are precisely the kind of Afghans the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee wants Canadians to know more about, and to support, politically, morally and materially.

What Canadians can do right now: Write Prime Minister Stephen Harper ( urging him to take a very hard line on Sayed's case - he should tell President Karzai that the charges against Sayed should be dropped, or at the very least that he must be assured of a fair trial, and the death sentence be overturned immediately. Write Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, too (, along with a dignified protest letter to His Excellency Omar Samad, Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada (

A horrible development: The deputy governor of Helmand and five others have been killed by a suicide bomber , during afternoon prayers. In a mosque.

I am not expecting news that the murderer was from a "Christian-Crusader heritage." I also see that more than 500 Afghan women staged a demonstration in Kandahar last week to protest the kidnapping of American aid worker Cyd Mizell, who just happens to be a Baptist.


Post a Comment

<< Home