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Farkhanda case: Kabul court quashes death sentences

Farkhanda case: Kabul court quashes death sentences

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Jul 02, 2015 - 18:44

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Afghan Womeninfo-icon’s Network (AWN) on Thursday denounced the Kabul appellant court’s decision overturning death sentences handed down to four men in the mob killing of Farkhanda.

Lya Jawad, a member of the AWN, told Pajhwok Afghan News the court proceedings were expected to take place in an open trial, not behind closed doors. She slammed the ruling as unjust and warned of protests next Tuesday if the decision was not reversed.

“We had doubts about the decision of the primary court and expected the appellant court would deliver justice, which did not seem to hve happened in the case,” she remarked.

She said President Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah had promised the court sessions would be open, but the vows were not honoured.

An angry mob savagely beat the 27-year-old woman to death on March 18 and set her body ablaze after she was falsely accused of blasphemy in Kabul.

Earlier, the Kabul primary court had convicted and sentenced to death four men for their role in the mob killing and sent another eight accused to jail for 16 years each.

Safiullah Mujaddedi, the primary court judge, had previously awarded capital punishments to Zainul Abedin, Mohammad Yaqoob, Mohammad Sharif and Abdul Bashir on the charges of killing Farkhunda and burning her body.

As many as 49 people had been arrested in connection with the attack, including 19 police officers, some of whom were accused of standing by and doing nothing to stop the lynching.

Judge Nasir Murid, head of the Kabul appeals court, said the he had decided to reduce the sentence -- three of them got 20 years in prison and one 10 years. The appeal was heard behind closed doors and the verdict was made on Wednesday.

Family members of Farkhanda said they had not been told of the court's decision or invited to watch the proceedings; they heard about the decision from the media.

nh/ma/mud

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