Outcry

Protesters lash out in Afghanistan over beheading of 9-year-old girl

Afghan women hold a candlelight vigil during a funeral procession for a group of seven decapitated Shiite Hazaras, including four men, two women and one child, on November 10, 2015 in Kabul. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

To the rest of the world, Afghanistan is looking like a lawless and barbaric place lately thanks to several grisly incidents in just the last two weeks, and going back to March of this year when a young woman named Farkhunda was beaten and burned to death after being accused of desecrating the Koran. On the heels of a 19-year-old women being stoned to death by a group of Taliban militants over adultery allegations late last month, a 9-year-old girl was among seven people brutally beheaded by militants believed to be linked to ISIS. Her name was Shukria, and demonstrators lashed out this week at the beheading. Women broke with Afghan funeral tradition, as they did for Farkhunda back in March, and carried Shukria’s coffin for hours through the streets of Kabul on Wednesday. There were demonstrations and vigils in several cities around the country. One news reporter captured footage of the solemn protest as mourners passed by carrying Shukria’s coffin, and posted it on Twitter.

Protesters have expressed frustration and disgust at the government’s apparent inability to curb attacks against civilians — and particularly those against women and children. And they have good reason to be suspect. President Ashraf Ghani appointed a special task force to investigate the young woman’s fatal stoning, and then it was quickly revealed that the mullah leading the probe is a proponent of stonings done in accordance with Sharia law.

The president, responding to mounting tension over the latest tragedy, vowed justice in a post on Twitter. “We’re all extremely pained by the horrific crime of Zabul. This’s the act of our enemies. V’ll have reprisal. Must stay united, not divided,” Ghani said on the social media site.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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