Afghan court cancels death sentences in mob killing of woman

An Afghan court has quashed the death sentences given to four men for their part in the murder of a woman lynched by a mob in the centre of Kabul. The mullah accused Malikzada of burning the Koran, and incited a crowd to kill her. raging men stoned the young woman to death, after which her body was run over by a auto and set on fire.


Initially given life sentences in May, Kabul Appeals Court judge Abdul Nasir Murid said the sentences were reduced to 20 years for three of the men, with a fourth criminal sentenced for only 10 years.

The ruling was made in a closed-door hearing on Wednesday.

Lawmakers and activists also criticized the decision, saying the court had bowed to the conservative religious establishment and failed to uphold the rule of law. “People were expecting the appeal court to do better”.

“We were hoping that taking Farkhunda’s case the justice system would prove the perception about it being corrupt, political and unfriendly to women in Afghanistan wrong”, she said.

It showed that it was not only the Taliban but the whole Afghan system that oppressed women, said women activist, Wasjima Frogh.

Farkhunda’s brother Mujibullah told AFP the family had not been told of the court’s decision or invited to the session. “We will not accept this decision”.

Later in the month, 11 policemen were sentenced to one year in prison for failing to protect Ms Malikzada, a devout Islamic student.


Kimberley Motley, an American lawyer in Afghanistan who represented the family during the previous trial, also criticised the ruling. I’m very concerned because this happened in a very closed hearing, it wasn’t transparent as the first court was and so there’s questions as to why this even occurred.

The appeal was heard behind closed doors and reportedly reached a verdict on Wednesday