20 years’ jail for errors in Koran translation
From correspondents in Kabulwww.freewebs.com
September 13, 2008 06:34am
AN Afghan court has sentenced an ex-journalist and a mullah to 20 years in prison each for publishing a translation of the Koran alleged to contain errors, friends and media rights groups said today.
Afghan and international media rights organisations condemned the sentences handed down yesterday and called on President Hamid Karzai to intervene.
Former journalist Ahmed Ghous Zalmai was arrested in November trying to escape into Pakistan as religious clerics and parliament were in an uproar about a Dari-language version of the Muslim holy book he had published.
Mullah Qari Mushtaq, who was sentenced with him, had approved the version which other clerics and parliamentarians claimed contained errors and misunderstandings about issues such as homosexuality and adultery.
Critics also complained the book did not include the original Arabic text as required by Islamic law.
“We appeal to the President’s spirit of tolerance and ask him to intercede on behalf of two men who have been given extremely severe sentences,” said Paris-based Reporters Without Borders and Article 19, another rights watchdog.
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