Four Men Sentenced to Death in Murder of Woman Accused of Burning Quran


An Afghan court has sentenced four men to death in the mob killing of Farkhunda, the 27-year-old woman who was beaten to death and tossed off a bridge after she was falsely accused of burning a Quran. Her body was also set on fire.

CNN reports that the Primary Court in Kabul sentenced the four men to death on Wednesday. Forty-nine people have been charged: 18 other men were found not guilty, and the remaining eight got sentences of 16 years each. Nineteen police officers who were also charged are still waiting to be sentenced. The Guardian reports that neither Farkhunda’s family nor the relatives of the convicted men are satisfied with the way the trial was handled; the men’s families accuse the trial of being “rushed” due to public outrage, and Farkhunda’s father Mohammad Nader Malikzadah told the court, “The main criminals have not been arrested.”

There have been conflicting reports about whether Farkhunda was mentally ill; initially, authorities said that she was, but a friend and cousin of hers has said she was “not ill.” An investigation after her murder quickly proved that Farkhunda wasn’t burning a Quran. Her family has described her as extremely devout, saying she knew the text by heart.

Unnamed defendants stand in court Wednesday. Image via AP.

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