Defamation Laws In Afghanistan
Unlike many western nations, Afghanistan does not have civil defamation legislation in place. That being said, the Middle Eastern country does outline defamation definitions and provision in their penal code.
Afghanistan Penal Code On Defamation
Articles 436 through 440 of the Afghanistan Penal Code outline the act of defamation and the punishments for it. The statues have specific rules that apply to libel or slander dealing with accusations of adultery and parentage, but the general standard is that individuals found to be guilty of “attributing” an untrue statement about another in a “public” manner can be fined between 10,000 and 20,000 Afghanis (Afghanistan “dollars”) and/or be sentenced to a short imprisonment of “not less than three months.”
The penal code also declares that truth is a valid defense in defamation lawsuits.
Sentenced To Death For Religious Defamation
However, in the year 2009 in Afghanistan, the Fatwa department of the Afghani Supreme Court recommended that two journalists, “Aftab” editor-in-chief Mer-hossin Mahdaw and Ali Raza Payam, be executed for publishing a cartoon depicting a monkey evolving into a man slumped over a computer screen with the words, “Government plus religion equals cruelty.” The piece was deemed blasphemous because it showed humans evolving from apes. In its ruling, the Court stated, “The Islamic Transitional Government of Afghanistan is obliged to give the death penalty to the people who have abused or made fun of Islam…”