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Huge Legal Victory For Women In Afghanistan

Twenty-two Afghani men, ten of them police officers, have been convicted for the killing of Farkhunda Malikzada, a 27-year old woman lynched by a mob in Kabul after being falsely accused of burning a copy of the Koran. An observant Muslim who wore a veil, at the time of the attack Farkhunda had just finished her degree in religious studies, and was preparing for a teaching post. Her death led to 49 arrests, and was protested by women’s rights activists worldwide. International Attorney Kimberley Motley works in areas of the world where women and girls are often left unprotected; she represented Malizkada’s family in court.

In her recent article in The Telegraph, Motley writes: “In convicting the police involved – those who failed to act on their moral and legal duty – Afghanistan has taken the first step in showing it understands the need to protect and value its women. By convicting those officers who passively watched….Afghanistan has become a frontrunner in punishing those officials who fail to fulfill their roles.” Pointing a finger squarely at authorities who neglect their duties, she draws a comparison to recent events here in America. “As a citizen of the U.S. – a country that has of late had its struggles prosecuting police for aggressive, often fatal police tactics….the U.S. should take note of Afghanistan on this one.”

Kimberley Motley and her diligent work will be featured in the “Law and Empowerment” segment of our upcoming “World Changers” TV show. For a closer look at Kimberley in the meanwhile, you can see her illuminating TED Talk here.

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