Afghan court jails 11 police officers for one year for standing by during mob killing of woman accused of burning the Koran

Officers were charged with neglecting their duties and failing to prevent the attack

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The Independent Online

An Afghan court has sentenced 11 police officers to a year in jail for failing to protect a woman brutally beaten to death on the streets of Kabul last year.

Farkhunda, a 27-year-old woman known only by one name, was beaten to death by an angry mob on 19 March last year after she was accused of burning a Koran.

Much of the attack, which saw the young woman beaten, run over by a car and burnt, was filmed by spectators and distributed online shocking thousands.

During the trial – which was broadcast live on TV – a prosecutor read charges against 49 defendants, 19 of them police officers. The police officers were charged with failing to prevent the attack and neglecting their duties - but there were claims that some took part in the vicious assault.

Judge Safiullah Mojadedi found the 11 men guilty of dereliction of duty, although eight further men have been released due to lack of evidence.

Following the attack, and in the run-up to the trial, demonstraters took to Kabul's streets in protest over the treatment of women in Afghanistan.

The attack, demonstrations and trial focussed international attention on status of women in conservative Afghanistan.

Earlier this month four defendents were found guilty and sentenced to death, eight to 16 years in prison, with 18 freed due to lack of evidence.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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