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More Protests Over Afghan Woman's Lynching

  • RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan

Thousands of people have marched through the Afghan capital for a second straight day demanding justice for a woman who was brutally beaten to death by a mob after being accused of burning a Koran.

Organizers of the March 24 protest estimated some 3,000 people took part.

Men and women carrying images of the bloodied face of 27-year-old Farkhunda, the victim of the deadly March 19 attack, chanted, "Justice for Farkhunda!" and, "Death to the killers!" as they made their way to the Supreme Court building in Kabul.

After Farkhunda was beaten and bludgeoned to death, the mob lit her body on fire and dumped it into the Kabul River.

Authorities and the victim's family say the attack had grown out of a dispute between Farkhunda and male fortune tellers and faith healers who sold amulets at Kabul's Shah-e Do-Shamshera Shrine.

They say Farkhunda told women in the shrine not to waste their money on the amulets.

"It put the amulet-sellers' profit in jeopardy," said Mohammad Zahir, the head of the Interior Ministry's Criminal Investigation Directorate.

Eyewitnesses said the men responded by making false accusations that she had torched the Koran, sparking the brutal attack on her.

Police say there was no evidence to support the Koran-burning allegation.

(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Radio Free Afghanistan video clearly shows the identities of many of the men who gathered around and beat and bludgeoned Farkhunda to death on March 19:

Zahir said 28 people were arrested over the killing, and that some of them have admitted taking part in the assault.

"We have a lot of evidence in this case as the attack was recorded on mobile phones by several people at the scene," Zahir told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

Authorities have also suspended 20 police officers based in the area, saying they did nothing to stop the attack.

Zahir said the investigation will be completed within days.

Farkhunda's brother, Najib, told Radio Free Afghanistan that her sister had graduated from a religious school and was a devout Muslim who wore a veil.

Farkhunda was buried on March 22.

To protest violence against women, her coffin carried to the cemetery by women's right activists defying the tradition of men-only pallbearers at funerals.

With reporting by AFP and AP