Newspaper Group Urges Strong Stand on Condemned Afghan Journalist - CNA Says International Community Must Use Influence to Reverse "Abhorrent" Judgment

    OTTAWA, Feb. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Anne Kothawala, President and CEO of the
Canadian Newspaper Association, called on the international community to use
every possible means to persuade Afghan authorities to exonerate Pervez
Kambaksh, 23, convicted and sentenced to death last week for downloading and
distributing an article considered insulting to Islam.
    "A week has gone by since this abhorrent judgment was handed down, and
the Afghan Senate reconfirmed it this week," Ms Kothawala said in a statement.
    "All countries engaged in building democracy in Afghanistan have a duty
to speak out," she said
    Noting that the Manley Commission urged the Canadian government to be
more forthcoming about Canada's role, Ms. Kothawala said this is an
opportunity for the Canadian government to show how it is directly and
explicitly engaged in building democracy with press freedom as a central
    The CNA has written to the Hon. Maxime Bernier, Canada's Minister of
Foreign Affairs to express its concern.

    About the Canadian Newspaper Association

    The Canadian Newspaper Association is the voice of Canada's daily
newspaper industry. We promote the positive reputation of newspapers as an
essential medium that benefits all Canadians, and as an effective vehicle for
advertisers. The CNA is a vigorous champion of journalistic freedom and
democratic reform and is a valued source of industry information, trends and
best practices.

For further information:

For further information: and interviews: David Gollob, 1-800-536-7993,

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