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Afghanistan Sentences 4 Men to Death in Deadly Mob Assault

  • Ayesha Tanzeem

A court in Afghanistan has sentenced four men to death and imprisoned eight more for the beating death of a woman in March.

Farkhunda’s mother stood in front of a courtroom in Kabul Wednesday morning and asked for justice for her 27-year-old daughter. The judge responded by announcing a death sentence for four men and 16 years imprisonment for another eight.

Among the condemned was Mullah Zainul Abideen, who accused Farhunda, falsely, of desecrating the Muslim holy book, the Quran. But the judge added that this verdict was not final and they had the right to appeal.

The men listened with stoic faces.

The 20 minute process was the culmination of a trial that started last Saturday and lasted only five days.

Farkhunda was killed by a mob in March after being accused of burning a Quran.

Cell phone video showed people beating her with sticks, pushing her body from a rooftop and running it over with a car, before dragging it through streets of Kabul, burning it, and dumping it in the river.

Her violent death sparked a wave of protests and demands for action. The administration promised swift justice.

Thirty civilians and 19 police officers were arrested and charged with either participating in the attack or failing to stop it.

Wednesday's court hearing was to announce the verdict for the civilians, 18 of whom were acquitted for lack of evidence. The verdict for the 19 police officials will be announced Sunday.

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