Memorial services are being held for Farkhunda, the Afghan woman brutally killed by a mob last month. The year-old was beaten to death by a crowd of men near a Kabul shrine after being falsely accused of burning the Koran. The ceremonies mark the end of the traditional day mourning period. The Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and shrine are within walking distance of the presidential palace and Kabul's main bazaar. Crowds of young men were a common sight here, as were women looking for help with their problems.
But the Shah-Du-Shamshaira shrine has been locked up since Farkhunda was set upon by the mob, beaten, stamped on and driven over.
Her body was then set alight. The brutal killing - captured on mobile phones with the video footage shared widely on social media - followed an altercation between Farkhunda and one of the shrine guardians. Farkhunda had challenged the man over the "superstitious practices" there.
In turn she was accused of having burned the Koran and a crowd of men soon began the deadly attack. Farkhunda was training to be a religious teacher.
Her father, Mohammad Nadir told the BBC that she was interested in Islam from childhood:. Farkhunda had been to the shrine only once, when the family decided to stop there for prayer a week before her murder.
Her brother, Mujib says the family were not told at first what had happened when they were brought into a Kabul police station. He says they were told Farkhunda had been accused of burning the Koran and was being interrogated.
The family says it was only later that night that they were told Farkhunda had been killed and that they should leave Kabul for their own safety. Since then the family's life has been turned upside down.
The police came under heavy criticism by the family for not protecting Farkhunda.
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Her father accused officers of standing by and doing nothing as she was killed. Videos of the incident show that officers made an attempt to disperse the crowd and fired warning shots in the air.
But an official investigation said police had lost control of the situation and recommended urgent training, better communication and management. It also said that suspects had not been apprehended quickly enough, allowing some to go into hiding.
Several policemen who were at the scene of the lynching have been arrested.
The head of the interior ministry's crime investigation unit, General Zahir Zahir, told the BBC, that 20 policemen were currently suspended and remained in detention, pending instructions from prosecutors. The usnos-domov.infoecedented killing was followed by usnos-domov.infoecedented protests.
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When Farkhunda was buried on 22 March, it was women's rights activists who carried the coffin, a complete break with tradition as the role is always performed by men. In the days that followed, thousands protested in Kabul and other Afghan cities, demanding justice.
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Some demonstrators carried banners bearing a picture of the bloodied face of Farkhunda. Others painted their own faces red.
There were solidarity gatherings in many countries, including the United States, Australia and the UK. Religious clerics condemned the killing, but some warned that the case should not be used to attack Islam.
After a nine-day investigation, a special commission formed on the orders of President Ashraf Ghani published its findings.
The men behind the practice are often wealthy and powerful. Some of them keep several bachas (boys) and use them as status symbols - a display of their riches. The boys, who can be
It said the "savage killing" had lasted 25 minutes. It said accusations that Farkhunda had burned the Koran were baseless and that she could not be a perpetrator given her higher religious education and detailed knowledge of the holy book.
The commission was unable to identify a definitive motive for the attack, but said it was likely that Farkhunda had encouraged visitors to the shrine to abstain from buying charms, upsetting shrine guardians and leading to the false accusations. The report found no evidence that a mullah or religious scholar was involved in the murder.
Women's rights activists, politicians and journalists have been discussing whether Farkhunda's death could bring change.
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First lady Rula Ghani has spoken of her hope that the tragedy might be a turning point. Shukria Barakzai, a prominent female MP, told the BBC that people needed to be better educated on the laws protecting women.
The MeToo movement must prioritize action, including where state institutions are the offender. As countries around the world seek to strengthen the rights of women, support should focus on organizations attacking this problem from all sides: protecting victims and fostering confident, capable female advocates who will shape society and the legal system.
The writer is executive director of the International Legal Foundation. Opinion Sex Abuse of Afghan Women.
JENNIFER SMITH, NEW YORK The writer is executive director of the International Legal Foundation. Home Page World Coronavirus U.
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