Unlike many Western nations, Afghanistan defamation law is not a civil legal matter. Instead, the Middle Eastern country outlines defamation definitions and provisions in its criminal code.
Afghanistan Penal Code On Defamation
Articles 436 through 440 of the Afghanistan Penal Code outline the “act of defamation” and related punishments.
The general defamation standard in Afghanistan
Individuals found guilty of “attributing” an untrue statement about another person in a “public” manner can be fined between 10,000 and 20,000 Afghanis (Afghanistan “dollars”) and/or be sentenced to an imprisonment of “not less than three months.”
There are specific libel and slander rules regarding accusations of adultery and parentage.
Truth is a valid defense in Afghanistan defamation lawsuits.
Afghanistan Defamation: Sentenced To Death For Religious Reasons
In 2009, 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…”