Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh, a 23 year old journalist in Afghanistan, was sentenced to death for distributing information regarding the role of women in Islam. A three judge panel in Mazar-i- Sharif found Kambakhsh guilty of "distributing blasphemous material", BBC reports.
Kambakhsh was arrested in October of last year after some of his university classmates said he was making fun of Islam and distributing an internet article that accused the Prophet Mohammad of ignoring women�s rights, according to Reuters.
International journalist organizations are appealing to the Afghan government to release Kambakhsh. Reporters Without Borders released a statement saying that his trial was "carried out in haste and without any concern for the law or free expression, which is protected by the constitution."
Media Resources: Reuters 01/23/08; BBC 01/23/08; Reporters Without Borders 01/22/2008
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .