Press statement: UN condemns public lynching and burning of mentally ill woman

Date: Friday, March 20, 2015

KABUL, 20 March 2015 The United Nations condemns, in the strongest terms, the brutal killing and burning of a 27 year old mentally ill woman.

On 19 March, an angry crowd beat a 27 year old woman to death and then burned her body. The incident took place near the Shah-e-Do Shamshera mosque in Kabul after the victim was accused of burning a copy of the holy Quran.

“We are particularly worried by reports that the woman had suffered from mental illness for many years,” said Elzira Sagynbaeva, the Country Representative for UN Women in Afghanistan. “We are encouraged by initial reports of the arrest of several suspects, but call on the authorities to investigate this incident fully and bring to justice all persons who actively participated in the killing, or aided and abetted it.”

The continued increase in the number of cases of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan has become a source of major concern, Ms. Sagynbaeva noted, and must not be tolerated. Afghan women’s rights to safety and security have to be ensured, she said, and the survivors of violence supported and perpetrators brought to justice.

Mark Bowden, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and acting head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), also condemned the attack.

The burning of the Quran contradicts the efforts of the United Nations to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions,” said Mr. Bowden. “However, the brutal murder of this woman is an unspeakably horrendous act that should result in those responsible being prosecuted, to the fullest extent possible, under Afghan law.”

Ms. Sagynbaeva, Mr. Bowden and the UN family in Afghanistan extend their deepest condolences to the family of the victim.

For more information:

UN Women: +93 700 285 454

UNAMA: Spokesperson-UNAMA[at]un.org

http://unama.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=12254&ctl=Details&mid=15756&ItemID=38637&language=en-US