Farkhunda was her name. We don’t know much about her life but we know about her gruesome death.
On the 19th of March and the days afterwards my Facebook news feed was filled with pictures of a woman. Not just regular pictures, this woman’s face was covered with blood and she looked beaten up. I didn’t know the story yet when I first was confronted with the horrible images and continued to look further. After further reading I found out that her name was Farkhunda. A young Afghan woman, at the age of 27. Her killing was recorded by bystanders and slowly pictures and videos appeared online. The pictures which I first saw were apparently taken when she was still alive, unfortunately she was killed by her fellow countrymen. She was attacked by a mob with extreme violence for allegedly burning the Koran. This alleged action later was denied by the The Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs of Afghanistan, which made clear that no burning of the Koran had taken place. This innocent woman fought for her live while a great number of men were beating her, kicking her, drove their car over her unconscious body, dragged her and set her body on fire. They threw their scarfs on her body, not to help but to keep the fire going. Every detail of the action is sickening and shocking.
When these actions occur one immediately asks where the police was. The official statements say that when the police arrived Farkhunda already was dead. However as you can see on the image I added the police was right there the whole time. There are three policemen in the picture, who knows how many were actually around the area. How can one expect of bystanders to take action when the people assigned with the job to serve and protect the people are also not making the slightest effort to halt the actions. All that was needed was one shot in the air and the mob would run. One action to stop these people but they didn’t. How can the police protect the country when they can’t protect one woman.
Immediately after the killing of Farkhunda the Afghan civil society condemned the horrible actions. Young Afghans used social media to express their anger and disappointment with the committed actions. It is good that there are so many ways the people can now voice their opinions globally. More and more people can let their voice be heard and specially when actions like this one occur this is needed. It is needed to let the world know how Afghans within the country think but also it is needed to show fellow Afghans in the country that these kind of actions won’t be supported. Farkhunda’s name echoes in every conversation I hear the last couple of days. It has stricken a cord with all of us and everyone wants to do something so that justice will be served.
Currently there have been nine arrests made with regard to the murder of Farkhunda. However, there are no reports made about what will happen to the policemen who clearly were present at the scene but did nothing. Therefore in my opinion much more arrests need to be done and several people need to resign for their incapability. If these people stay in their positions their shortcomings are being accepted which in a case like this one is unimaginable. If resignation is too extreme (which in my opinion it isn’t but ok) suspension of these people and a public statement is needed. Firstly the current Chief of Kabul’s police should resign or be suspended due to the fact that his men weren’t adequate in their job. Furthermore from news reports it appears that the deputy minister of information and culture tried to justify the killing of Farkhunda and also the spokesman of Kabul Police did the same. If that is true, these two should also resign or be suspended from their function. It is unacceptable from government related people to react this way to a horrible act.
When I got confronted with the images of Fakhunda’s beating and killing it made me lose faith in humanity and wonder why no one did anything to stop it. It made me ashamed of being Afghan and ashamed of these men. It made me wonder where this evil has come and how all these men can stand there and look at how a young woman is being beaten to death. This time it wasn’t an action committed by an outsider, this time it was an evil from within the country. An evil within the once great and beautiful capital. I was extremely disappointed and disgusted. I read a lot of emotional posts written about the event. I read people’s anger. I read people’s despair. I read their need for justice. I regained some faith in humanity due to being exposed to what my fellow Afghans said on social media. Widely this action was condemned with strong words and a strong message is being spread. The killing of Farkhunda has sparked outrage and sadness throughout Afghanistan. For now it is too soon to exactly take conclusions but I strongly hope that the government of Afghanistan shows some action. I haven’t added names of others, also not of those officials who allegedly justified Farkhunda’s killing. I have mentioned only her name because I want you all to remember it and keep her spirit in your thoughts.
For more information about Farkhunda’s killing and views by others I recommend you to read:
*the picture was taken from Facebook.