4 men get death sentences in mob killing case
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Kabul primary court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced four men to death for their role in the mob killing of Farkhunda in March this year and sent another eight defendants to jail for 16 years each.
Safiullah Mujaddedi, the primary court judge, awarded capital punishment to Zain-ul-Abedin son of Gulabuddin, Mohammad Yaqoob son of Mohammad Yasin, Mohammad Sharif son of Sharafuddin, Abdul Bashir son of Abdul Shakoor on the charges of killing Farkhunda and burning her body.
Those sentenced to 16 years in jail included Ghiasuddin, Hasibullah, Akramuddin, Mohammad Imran, Abdul Fatah, Ghulam Mohammad, Mohmand and Sayed Noor Rahman. The convicts have the right to appeal the sentences.
The trial that began on Saturday involved 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, over the March 19 killing that sparked nationwide outcry and made international headlines.
Farkhunda, 27, was killed by a charged mob in the heart of capital Kabul in front of a well-known shrine after a bogus accusation that she had burned a copy of the Holy Quran and her body was torched after being tossed onto the dried up Kabul river.
Her last brutal moments were captured on mobile phone cameras by witnesses. The clips showed her being punched, kicked, beaten with planks of wood, pushed onto a roof and dropped from it, thrown in the street and run over by a car.
She then had a lump of concrete dropped on her and her body was dragged along the road outside the mosque and tossed onto the bank of the Kabul River. A crowd watched as her body was set on fire.
Mujaddedi said the sentences could be challenged in the appellant court. He ruled 18 others accused were acquitted in the case for a lack of evidence.
They included Mohammad Hakim, Mahmood, Mohammad Zahir, Sherzai, Keramuddin, Hezbullah, Shafiq Ahmad, Ashaq, Rabiullah, Abdul Baqi, Jan Aqa, Hamed, Jan Aziz, Jawad, Raes Khudaida, Zahed Ahmad, Ajmal and Ziarat Gul.
Fawzia Kofi, lawmaker and member of a fact-finding commission, said charges against these people should not have been dropped. “There is evidence that some of them had part in provoking public’s sentiments during the incident.”
The judge said the court would hand down its verdict next Sunday regarding the 19 policemen accused of negligence in duty to prevent Farkhunda’s killing.
He noted three other main accused Pahlawan, Pacha and Mohammad Hussein wanted in the case were still at large and security officials had been directed to nab them and bring them before the court.
Farkhunda’s parents were present at the court. Mohammad Nader, Farkhunda’s father, said: “I want these criminals to be punished. Let it be a lesson for others to avoid committing such acts in future.”
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