Afghan Woman Lynched After Being Falsely Accused of Burning the Quran

Afghan Woman Lynched to Death

An Afghan woman who was lynched to death within 25 minutes last month by a mob that falsely accused her of burning the Quran, was finally given a burial by women’s rights activists, who carried her coffin on their shoulders across the streets of Kabul. Hundreds of mourners attended 27-year-old Farkhunda’s funeral that was carried out on March 22, quietly chanting:

“We want justice.”

Live footage of Farkhunda’s savage attack, filmed by passersby on their mobile phones, went viral instantaneously upon being published on social media. As seen in the videos, Farkhunda was lynched, set on fire and eventually dumped in a nearby river by a group of angry men, who alleged that she was mentally unstable and responsible for burning the Quran. Reportedly, police officials present at the scene refused to intervene and save Farkhunda from being killed.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered an investigation into the killing a day after Farkhunda had been lynched to death.

According to an official from Afghanistan’s interior ministry, no evidence has been found to suggest Farkhunda had in fact burnt the Quran.

“Last night I went through all documents and evidence once again, but I couldn't find any evidence to say Farkhunda burnt the Holy Quran,” General Mohammad Zahir told reporters at her funeral. “Farkhunda was totally innocent.”

Zahir confirmed that 13 people, including eight police officers had been arrested for Farkhunda’s murder. He also said that her family had been offered protective care to ensure they are safe.

The most striking aspect of Farkhunda’s funeral was the fact that her coffin was carried by women only, a role that is traditionally carried out by men.

Earlier allegations of Farkhunda being mentally unstable was quashed by her relatives and neighbours. Speaking to the media, her brother, Najibullah said that Farkhunda had received a degree in religious studies and was training to become a religious teacher. He also said that an altercation between Farkhunda and a group of amulet sellers at the local

Shah-e-Do Shamshera mosque may have led to her murder. The men possibly framed her after Farkhunda asked women at the mosque not to waste their money buying amulets from them.

Afghanistan has been described as one of the worst countries in the world for women, as most of their rights are routinely denied. While the West has spent millions of dollars on programs targeted at educating and empowering women in Afghanistan and thus initiated some reforms, most Afghan women continue to suffer attacks and discrimination that are most often carried out in the name of blasphemy.

Photo Credits: FZN

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