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Censorship Government The Courts News

Afghan Student Gets 20 Years For Blasphemy 618

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Despite nationwide public support for his initial death sentence, a three-judge appeals court has reduced the sentence of Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh to 20 years in prison. Kambakhsh was charged with circulating an article on women's rights that he found online. From the article: 'Family members have said Kambakhsh was beaten and threatened with death until he signed a confession and that local journalists who expressed support for him were warned they would be arrested if they persisted.'"
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Afghan Student Gets 20 Years For Blasphemy

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  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gat0r30y ( 957941 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @03:57PM (#25473319) Homepage Journal
    You should check around for some more recent stats. like this []
  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jaxtherat ( 1165473 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:23PM (#25473699) Homepage

    Tabacco causes far more being legal, cheap and highly addictive (far more than heroin).

    In fact (according to the American Cancer Society circa 1993 for the USA) annual death statistics are:

            Total tobacco related: 434,000
            Heroin/Morphine: 2,400

    And to sate your curiosity, here are the other common killers:

            Alcohol-related: 105,000
            Car accidents: 49,000
            Suicide: 31,000
            AIDS: 31,000
            Murder: 22,000
            Fire: 4,000
            Cocaine: 3,300

    Food for though, eh!

  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:42PM (#25474025)

    Marijuana: 0 (It does not have to be smoked prohibition raises the price to where smoking is more economical for the user)

  • Re:And yet... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Foobar of Borg ( 690622 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @04:57PM (#25474279)

    What utter rubbish. There isn't much that causes more physical harm and dependence than heroin.

    Try to read up on the effects of alcohol dependence and alcohol withdrawal. You can start here []. Alcohol is actually one of the few drugs whose withdrawal symptoms can kill you. (Which is also why, if you want to break an addiction to alcohol, you need to see a doctor so that you can be carefully monitored and treated.) Alcohol is a legal drug, but it can still be incredibly dangerous to your health, even more so than some of the illegal drugs.

  • by wfstanle ( 1188751 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @05:08PM (#25474445)

    Actually, they were not burned at the stake, they were hanged and one man was pressed to death.

  • Re:absurd (Score:4, Informative)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @06:59PM (#25475903)

    um you should get your story straight. there are 50 separate governments within the USA

    There is one government of the USA, and more than 50 separate governments in the USA (1 federal government, 50 state governments, and, beyond administrative subdivisions of states, possibly others, depending on whether one considers territories like the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands or Puerto Rico "in" the USA.)

    the USA is closer to european union than to one country.

    Um, no.

    The US, since it is one nation, is clearly more "like" one nation than it is like any confederation of independent nations.

    Sure, it has a federal government whose present structure grants the subordinate states fairly broad areas of autonomy, but then, its hardly unique among the nations of the world in having that kind of structure.

  • Re:absurd (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @07:38PM (#25476383) Homepage Journal

    Most of the north didn't want to get rid of slavery either. Nor did most of the soldiers fighting for the north.

    [citation needed]

    Where do you think they put the black people who fought with them? The front lines.. in front of all the white people.. so they died first.

    This is the exact opposite of the truth. Right up until the end of the war (and again in the World Wars) black US soldiers had to fight their own command structure to be allowed to fight on the front lines. Of course, this was still deeply racist, but it was racism of a very different kind than the Confederacy's.

  • Re:absurd (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rosy At Random ( 820255 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @08:44PM (#25476951) Homepage

    Who modded this guy down? He's right. We shouldn't be calling Texas the idiot state. That's just not right.

    _Florida_ is the idiot state. Florida.

  • Re:absurd (Score:5, Informative)

    by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:07PM (#25477153)

    22% is "military aid," which still leaves the US as the #1 producer of non-military foreign aid. Now figure out what percentage of that 22% is in the form of disaster relief and other aid operations using the US military (classified as "military aid" by the state department.

  • Re:absurd (Score:3, Informative)

    by Curtman ( 556920 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:16PM (#25477219)
  • by Prien715 ( 251944 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `epopcitsonga'> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:43PM (#25477411) Journal

    Pre-Civil war, when one referred to the US, it was in the form of "The United States are...." After the Civil War, it became "The United States is...." so it seems we thought of the states as sovereign entities, much like the "city states" of Greece. The word "state" itself, actually originally refers to a sovereign entity (e.g. "Secretary of State", "state sponsored terrorism") whereas a province is a dependent subdivision.

  • Re:absurd (Score:3, Informative)

    by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @09:51PM (#25477465)

    Even if you're talking about a time near the Civil War you would still be wrong. Most of the north didn't want to get rid of slavery either. Nor did most of the soldiers fighting for the north.

    Funny, since the absentee ballots cast by the soldiers and sailors were overwhelmingly in favor of emancipation when Maryland brought it to a vote in 1864. James Loewen put it poetically in Lies My Teacher Told Me []:

    Just as these soldiers marched into battle with "John Brown's Body" upon their lips, so their minds had changed to favor the freedoms their actions were forging.

  • Re:absurd (Score:2, Informative)

    by rohan972 ( 880586 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2008 @11:05PM (#25477925)

    How many countries that you would consider first world nations have not abolished capitol punishment?

    No country has abolished capital punishment. Australia? No: [] UK? No: []

    We just change how we go about it and who we apply it to. Afghanistan citizens rather than our own, for example. Criticising countries that have the death penalty is hypocritical, especially when there are people that want it restored anyway.

    I'd rather get rid of prison terms for all non-violent offences which overall I see as a far larger problem than the death penalty. Not to the individual obviously, but to society.

  • Re:absurd (Score:4, Informative)

    by Weedlekin ( 836313 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @04:24AM (#25479401)

    "during WWII were the allied forces stepping on the rights of German citizens when the party they supported began singling out the Jews as a scapegoat before putting thousands of them to death?"

    The allies didn't have any information about the Holocaust until 1942, and their leaders were sceptical about the veracity of the sources at that time, so it wasn't a motivating factor in any of their decisions. It should also be noted that very few Germans knew about it until after the Nazis had been defeated (which was also the time that the public in allied countries started to hear about it), because Nazi propaganda told them the Jews were being resettled in newly conquered lands, and they made films for domestic consumption showing how well they were being cared for and how happy they were about the chance to "lead productive lives helping to build the Reich". It's unlikely that they'd have bothered to manufacture and spread propaganda of this sort if they though that they had significant public support for their Final Solution.

    NB: The initial scepticism about early reports of Nazi atrocities seems strange today, but is perhaps more understandable when seen in the context of WWI, which had only been over for a couple of decades, and was therefore still a major influence on the minds of both the leadership (military and government) and people of both the allies and Germany. A lot of false rumours about German atrocities were flying around during that war, including some that seem ludicrous to us nowadays, e.g. the Germans having factories near the Western front that made soap out of their own and allied dead, German and Austrian soldiers killing and eating large numbers of Belgian babies, mass crucifixions of allied POWs, and other things that were later found to be either complete rubbish, or massive exaggerations of single incidents by disturbed individuals or small groups who had subsequently been executed by their own side for their crimes. And although the allied leadership in WWI was happy to use such rumours for propaganda purposes, they did so in full knowledge of their false nature, so they can perhaps be forgiven for thinking that the rumours which initially reached them about real Nazi atrocities might not be true.

  • Re:absurd (Score:2, Informative)

    by neumayr ( 819083 ) on Thursday October 23, 2008 @06:03AM (#25479789)
    Not to say the USA doesn't give out a lot of foreign aid, or that it's all part of some "evil machination", but as a percentage of the GDP, it's not all that much.
    I couldn't find any stats by a quick google, but it seems the US is spending around 0.13 or 0.16% of its GDP on foreign aid, while the UN established a target of 0.7%. Not that many countries meet that target, but the US is further off than most.

    Actually, that quick google found a great many sites that show the "evil machination" side of things ;)

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.