News - Afghanistan
Amnesty International, along with other domestic and international human rights organizations, have criticized Wednesday's court verdict in the Farkhunda murder trial, arguing that the case was handled politically and without due process.
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and Transitional Justice Group have called the decision issued by the Third District Primary Court in Kabul - sentencing four to death and 16 to 18-year prison terms - hasty and premature.
"Unfortunately this decision was more of a political decision, and justice is less served," Amnesty International researcher Hoorya Mosadeq said. "Our demand was that the cases be investigated fairly and police official's names should have been included as well," he added.
Other human rights activists pointed out that the case was adjudicated before adequate effort could be made to apprehend the three main suspects identified by police who are still at large.
"The court has announced its decision when three of the perpetrators are still on the run," Transitional Justice group Abdullah Ahmadi said. "We demand that security forces arrest them as soon as possible, and then maybe other facts will become apparent; the decision of the court must change."
Rafiullah Bedar, a spokesman for AIHRC, said charges should not have been dropped against some of the acquitted, who he maintained were involved in the brutal mob attack. "In this case, all the perpetrators of the case should have been punished, even those who had charges dropped - they should have been sentenced for violence against women," Mr. Bedar said. "These kinds of decisions will open the door to other crimes."