[JURIST] Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai [official website; BBC profile] is concerned about the imposition of the death penalty against journalism student Sayad Parwez Kambaksh but will not intervene in the case pending Kambaksh's appeal, a presidential spokesman said Tuesday. Under Article 64 of the Afghanistan Constitution [text], Afghanistan's president may reduce penalties and grant pardons in accordance with provisions of Afghan law. In January, Kambaksh was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death [JURIST report] for distributing papers questioning why Islam permitted men to have up to four wives while women cannot have multiple husbands.
A three-judge panel, following a recommendation from the Afghan Council of Mullahs, invoked Article 130 of the Afghanistan Constitution on judicial discretion and sentenced Kambaksh to death. Kambaksh has received international support [RWB report] from Reporters Without Borders [advocacy website], as well as the European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering [official website]. AP has more.