Wednesday, May 6

Four Men Who Beat Afghan Woman To Death Sentenced To Death

Remember the Afghan woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten to death by a brutal mob after being falsely accused of burning a Koran? An Afghan court this morning Wednesday May 6th convicted and sentenced four men to death for their role in her death.
The sentences were part of a trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, over the March 19 killing of 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda who was beaten to death in a frenzied attack sparked by a bogus accusation that she had burned a copy of the Quran.
The trial, which began Saturday, only involved two full days of court proceedings - an unusual swiftness in the slow-moving Afghan judicial system. It was broadcast live on national television, reflecting huge public interest in the case.
A judge handed down the four death sentences at Afghanistan's Primary Court in Kabul on Wednesday. He also sentenced eight of the defendants to 16 years in prison and dropped charges against 18. The remaining suspects are to be sentenced on Sunday.

The defendants have the right to appeal their sentences. The charges included assault, murder and encouraging others to participate in the assault. The police officers were charged with neglecting their duties and failing to prevent the attack. Farkhunda's brother, Mujibullah, told The Associated Press that her family was angered by the leniency of the court toward the majority of the defendants.

"The outcome of the trial is not fair and we do not accept it - you saw just four people sentenced to death but everybody knows that more than 40 people were involved in martyring and burning and beating my sister," said Mujibullah, who like many Afghans, including his sister, uses only one name. "Eighteen people have been freed. The court should punish them and that should be a lesson for anyone who would commit this sort of crime, anywhere in our country, in the future," he added.

Source: AFP

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