Afghan people are outraged because of the incredible decision by the Appeals Court to overturn the death sentences of the killers of Farkhunda. The court made this decision behind closed doors.
Nobody understands this judgment, not even Farkhunda’s family. Farkhunda’s family has even asked the government to revise the Appeals Court’s decision for four of the men. But some people do not want justice in this case. The families and friends of the murderers do not agree that the accused men should be either executed or sentenced to lengthy prison terms. It appears they did something to persuade the court to change the sentences.
But they cannot stop us from protesting. We will write and say the slogans “I am Farkhunda” and “We want justice” until we get justice.
I saw an interview with Farkhunda’s mother on the Aryana news where she said the family was not even invited to the court for the trial. She said, “I know in this court there was corruption and some people wanted to close this case as soon as possible but we will not let them. We do not have lawyers to control this case.”
She said she was so scared after the crime that she did not let her other daughters go out, not to school, university, or their jobs. She said Farkhunda’s sisters have studied for many years and now they cannot continue their education or go to work. They stay at home. “I had wishes that Farkhunda would also continue her education and help our society, but people burned her at the stake, killed her with stones and under their feet,” she said.
It is four months since Farkhunda was killed on the first night of the Nowruz New Year in March in Kabul outside the mosque. The mullah claimed she burned pages of the Holy Qur’an. That was false, but his claims incited a mob of men outside the mosque to brutally attack and kill and then burn the 27-year-old woman.
In the beginning of April, 49 people were tried. The court sentenced four to death, eight to long prison terms and 18 were found innocent. Eleven policemen were sentenced to one year in jail. Eight were found not guilty.
People were satisfied with this. Then last week the appeals court started and the judge Ali-Abdul-Nasser-Moored dismissed the death penalties.
Moored defended his ruling. He told BBC news that every judge and person has his own understanding of the laws and Article 396 of the Criminal Code to commit murder and he said either imprisonment or death is normal. He said, “I did not change anything and there is no difference between elementary court and this because the law is written for execution or life imprisonment. This is why I changed the sentences from life imprisonment.”
When I hear Farkhunda’s name I feel so sad. I see her face covered in blood and she screamed but nobody listened to her. I am really sad about all those people who do not use their minds and say anything they want. People need to think before they speak. These people killed Farkhunda.
By Zahra W., aged 15