Afghan Women's Network

Afghan Women's Network

Views of Civil Society Organizations and Activists in relation to the Initial Court Judgment regarding brutal killing of Farkhunda

Afghan civil society organizations and activists have repeatedly insisted, calling for a thorough investigation and fair trial of those accused for Farkhunda’s murder. Although the conduct of an open trial and court procedures have been encouraging, but the way the court meetings were held and decisions are made have raised a lot of questions on the transparency and independence of the court. 

In relation to the 6 May 2015 (16 Saur 1394Court Decision:

1. Among the 49 accused, only two had a defense lawyer, while 47 others did not have the opportunity to access their right for having a defense lawyer where in accordance with the Article152 of the Criminal Procedure Code, having defense lawyer for every accused is a must. 

2. Lack of a thorough study of the cases prepared by the Attorney has resulted in failing to identifying the crimes per accused and carrying judgment accordingly

3. It was extremely important to separate the trail procedures for the accused civilians and military in accordance with Article 155 of Criminal Procedure Code to ensure fair and just judgment is given to both accused categories separately. 

4. Rush in court decision in relation to the civilians involved in the crime and delay in relation to the military involved in the crime have raised a lot of questions on the court procedures on the basis of  equality values.  

5. Using Elimination of Violence against Women Law (EVAWL) articles for prosecution of 12 accused is a positive step towards justice but it is not at all enough to accept the recent court decisions. In relation to those who were found not guilty, it was important to carry on further investigation to ensure that those involved in the crime are not released without responsibilityWe have legitimate concerns regarding the court procedure, judge’s soft behavior towards senior government officials.  

• In relation to 19 May 2015 (29 Saur 1394) Court Decision

1. Issuing of one year imprisonment verdict to 11 police officers of district 2, have been extremely mild and weak. 
2. Verdict of not guilty in relation to the 8 other police officers of district 2 could lead in making police further careless in relation to their roles and responsibilities.
3. Ignoring the fact that the high ranking police officials are equally responsible towards the brutal killing of Farkhunda by not taking immediate action as per their responsibility and authority have put the court independence under huge question. 

We, the Civil Society Organizations and Activists demand the followings for a serious follow up of Farkhunda’s case in the Appeal Court:

1. For a fair and just Justice to Farkhunda , we demand the strong support of His Exellency Mr. President and His Excellency Mr. Chief Executive Officer of National Unity Government.

2. We have closely followed up and participated in the trail procedures by the Initial Court. We strongly believe that Appeal Court and responsible Attorneys have an important role to study the initial court judgment, analyze the facts and further findings and consider the Initial Court Judgment invalid. This will be a strong stand towards Justice for Fakhunda and ensuring that no other women and girls will be victims again.  

3. We insist and plea Justice for Farkhunda in accordance with the existing laws and legislations taking into account transparency and independence. The justice will not be fair and just until the court is not fully transparent and deal professionally with the case 

4. It is also note mentioning that Afghan citizens and civil society activists will not hide any shortage of the court proceedings from nation’s observation and this will be done seriously to secure justice for Farkhunda.

5We would like to thank the national and international media for supporting us in the past two months. In order to push andsupport the social change and secure justice related issues particularly about Farkhunda’s case, we still call serious attention and support of media to continue sharing information, carry on lobby and advocacy and question the procedures etc.