Pakistani national Mishal Khan’s lynch mob killers sentenced

Mishal Khan, a 23-year-old student of Mass Communication at the Abdul Wali Khan University. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Pakistani national Mishal Khan’s lynch mob killers sentenced

PESHAWAR: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Haripur issued one death sentence and five life imprisonments in the Mishal Khan murder case on Wednesday.
Twenty-five people were sentenced to four years in prison. The court dismissed cases against 26 others because of insufficient evidence.
Khan, a 23-year-old student of Mass Communication at the Abdul Wali Khan University, was falsely accused of blasphemy last year, resulting in his lynching by an angry mob, mainly consisting of fellow students and university faculty.
The killing took place in Mardan, the second-largest city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), on April 13, 2017, causing outrage across the country. The trial began in September.
ATC Judge Fazal-e-Subhan announced the verdict amid tight security at Haripur Central Prison — the case having been moved from Mardan amid security concerns. Imran Ali, who confessed to shooting Khan, received the death sentence.
A total of 58 people were originally taken into custody, although others, who were clearly inciting the mob in a video that of the incident that was circulated on social media, have still not been apprehended.
Earlier in the day, the parents of a number of those arrested staged a protest outside the prison, which they were prohibited from entering.
After hearing the verdict, Khan’s brother, Aimal, said that his family would seek legal advice on how to proceed.
He also demanded the immediate arrest of all those who had so far evaded the authorities, adding that that KP’s provincial government should fulfill its promise to rename the University of Swabi after Mishal Khan.


NZ leader Ardern vows to deny accused gunman notoriety he seeks

Updated 23 min 18 sec ago
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NZ leader Ardern vows to deny accused gunman notoriety he seeks

  • ‘You will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal.’
  • “He will face the full force of the law in New Zealand,” Ardern promised grieving Kiwis

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed Tuesday never to utter the name of the twin-mosque gunman as she opened a somber session of Parliament with an evocative “as salaam alaikum” message of peace to Muslims.

“He will face the full force of the law in New Zealand,” Ardern promised grieving Kiwis, while promising that she would deprive the man who slaughtered 50 people in Christchurch of the publicity he craved.

“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety,” she told assembled lawmakers of the 28-year-old Australian accused of the slaughter.

“That is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”

“I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them.”

Dressed in black, the 38-year-old leader opened her remarks in Parliament with the symbolism of the greeting uttered across the Islamic world.

“Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” she said — ‘May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you too.’

She closed her address by noting that “on Friday, it will be a week since the attack, members of the Muslim community will gather for worship on that day. Let us acknowledge their grief as they do.”

Her comments came as dozens of relatives of the deceased began arriving from around the world ahead of expected funerals which have already been delayed far beyond the 24 hours after death usually observed under Islamic custom.

The slow process of identification and forensic documentation has so far made burials impossible, augmenting families’ grief.

Javed Dadabhai, who traveled from Auckland to help bury his cousin, said families and volunteers were told: “It is going to be a very slow process, a very thorough process.”

“Some families have been invited to have a look at their family members... the ones that are easiest to recognize, but we are talking about three or four.”

“The majority of people still have not had the opportunity to see their family members,” he told AFP.

In the wake of the mass shooting, Ardern has promised to reform New Zealand gun laws that allowed the gunman to legally purchase the weapons he used in the attack on two Christchurch mosques, including semi-automatic rifles.

New Zealanders have already begun answering government appeals to hand in their weapons, including John Hart, a farmer in the North Island district of Masterton.

Hart said it was an easy decision for him to hand in his semi-automatic and tweeted that “on the farm they are a useful tool in some circumstances, but my convenience doesn’t outweigh the risk of misuse. We don’t need these in our country.”

The tweet drew a barrage of derogatory messages to his Facebook account —  most apparently from the US, where the pro-gun lobby is powerful and vociferous.

Hart deleted the messages but posted online: “A warm kia ora to all my new American Facebook friends.”

“I’m not familiar with your local customs, but I assume ‘Cuck’ is a traditional greeting,” he said of the insult, short for “cuckold” frequently used by far-right pundits.

Police said they did not have data available on the number of weapons handed in since Friday.