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AP, July 6, 2015

Afghan protesters denounce quashing of death sentences for Farkhunda killers (PHOTOS)

Solidarity party members, female activists and others protest outside shrine in Kabul where Farkhunda Malikzada was murdered by mob


SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: Protestors of the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (SPA) wore cloths to show the brutal manner in which Farkhunda was killed. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

Dozens of Afghans have rallied to denounce a court ruling last week that overturned the death sentences for four men convicted of taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine in March.

The protesters, mostly members of the Solidarity party of Afghanistan and female activists, staged Monday’s protest outside the shrine where Farkhunda Malikzada was killed. Many carried posters of Farkhunda and shouted: “We want justice”.

“A government that is composed of criminals and traitors of the past three decades, and is a clique of the most misogynist and bloodthirsty elements, cannot be expected to punish their own kind (the murderers of Farkhunda). This government’s only duty is to protect these criminals. It is our people who should not sit silently and turn Farkhunda’s bloody cloths into their banner for the struggle for freedom and justice. We can only honor Farkhunda’s blood by widespread struggle for justice.”
Malalai Joya, Jul. 6, 2015

One of the participants, activist Malalai Joya, said the court decision paved the way for the killers to go free.

The death of Farkhunda, who was beaten and burned before being thrown in a river, shocked Afghans and prompted demonstrations urging the authorities to protect women from violence. She was attacked in March after being falsely accused of burning a copy of the Qur’an.

Three of the men convicted of the murder were instead given 20-year sentences last Thursday, with a fourth jailed for 10 years. After the ruling, Farkhunda’s brother told BBC Persian TV: “It’s not a court, it’s just a show. The media should have been there, we should been there, the lawyers should have been there.

“It’s a real theatre. The whole world laughs at the judicial system of Afghanistan. Do the judges have families, sisters, mothers – or not? Do they have a heart? We will not accept this decision.”

In all, 49 people stood trial over Farkhunda’s death. Eleven police officers were later sentenced to a year in prison for dereliction of duty. Another eight officers were acquitted due to a lack of evidence.


SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: The Solidarity Party of Afghanistan (SPA) held a protest to condemn the linient sentence passed by the Afghan courts for the killers of Farkhunda. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: Malalai Joya also participated in the protest and spoke to the protestors. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: Selay Ghaffar, the spokesperson of the SPA, talks to the media. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: Tens of supporters and members of the SPA walked through the street where Farkhunda was murdered. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

SPA protest against Farkhunda's sentence
July 6, 2015: In the end, stones were laid inside the river to mark the place where the SPA will construct a tower in Farkhunda's memory. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)

Category: Women, HR Violations - Views: 4085