Four Men Sentenced to Death in Murder of Woman Accused of Burning Quran

Illustration for article titled Four Men Sentenced to Death in Murder of Woman Accused of Burning Quran

An Afghan court has sentenced four men to death in the mob killing of Farkhunda, the 27-year-old woman who was beaten to death and tossed off a bridge after she was falsely accused of burning a Quran. Her body was also set on fire.

CNN reports that the Primary Court in Kabul sentenced the four men to death on Wednesday. Forty-nine people have been charged: 18 other men were found not guilty, and the remaining eight got sentences of 16 years each. Nineteen police officers who were also charged are still waiting to be sentenced. The Guardian reports that neither Farkhunda’s family nor the relatives of the convicted men are satisfied with the way the trial was handled; the men’s families accuse the trial of being “rushed” due to public outrage, and Farkhunda’s father Mohammad Nader Malikzadah told the court, “The main criminals have not been arrested.”

There have been conflicting reports about whether Farkhunda was mentally ill; initially, authorities said that she was, but a friend and cousin of hers has said she was “not ill.” An investigation after her murder quickly proved that Farkhunda wasn’t burning a Quran. Her family has described her as extremely devout, saying she knew the text by heart.


Unnamed defendants stand in court Wednesday. Image via AP.

Contact the author at

Public PGP key
PGP fingerprint: 67B5 5767 9D6F 652E 8EFD 76F5 3CF0 DAF2 79E5 1FB6

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Future Cadavre


The details of her murder remind me of when I was training to be an on-call rape crisis counselor and we had a week about domestic violence. We read a lit review about DV and it cited a paper describing how women are so frequently murdered over and over. I don’t mean multiple women are murdered often (although that is indeed true: three women a day die at the hands of a partner or ex-partner, very often when she’s pregnant). I mean one woman is murdered again and again. First h strangled to death. The she’s bludgeoned. Then she’s she’s cut into pieces. Then she’s set ablaze.

It’s not enough to kill her once — her killer, her ex/partner, has to keep killing her, mutilating her corpse. He renders her this vessel of otherwise impotent hatred, this thing into into which he just pours all of his contempt for every wrong he feels perpetuated against him as a man. It’s symbolized by her body and neutralized (but not really) by the destruction of her body.

It happens in the US.

This reminded me of that.