Thousands march in Kabul demanding justice for woman lynched by mob
KABUL: Thousands of people marched
through the Afghan capital, demanding justice for a woman who was beaten to
death by a mob after being falsely accused of burning a Qur’an.
Men and women of all ages carried
banners bearing the bloodied face of Farkhunda, the 27-year-old religious
scholar killed last week by the mob. Farkhunda was beaten, run over with a car
and burned before her body was thrown into the Kabul river.
Organisers of Tuesday’s march
estimated that 3,000 people took part, calling it one of the biggest
demonstrations in Kabul’s history. Marchers chanted, “justice for Farkhunda!”
and “death to the killers!”.
The demonstrators also called for
action against officials and religious leaders who had initially supported the
attack on Farkhunda by saying her killing was justifiable if she had burned
pages of a Qur’an.
The country’s interior ministry said
the spokesman for the Kabul police, Hashmat Stanikzai, had been fired over
comments he made on social media supporting Farkhunda’s killers. Stanikzai
could not be immediately reached for comment.
Among the crowd were prominent rights
activists, including Fatana Gailani, the head of the Afghanistan Women’s
Council, who said she hoped the incident would be a catalyst for change in a
society traumatised by war, corruption and lack of leadership.
“We are getting fed up,” Gailani
said. “The new generation has known nothing but war, they are not educated, and
now they have no jobs.”