Afghan court cancels death sentences in mob killing of Farkhunda Malikzada
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Afghan court cancels death sentences in mob killing of Farkhunda Malikzada

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan judge says a court has overturned the death sentences for four men convicted of taking part in the mob killing of a woman outside a Kabul shrine.

Appeals Court Judge Abdul Nasir Murid said Thursday that three of the men convicted of the murder of Farkhunda Malikzada in March were instead given 20-year sentences. The fourth was sentenced to 10 years.

The ruling was made in a closed-door hearing Wednesday and first reported by the independent Tolo TV. Tolo said the peddler at the shrine who allegedly incited the mob was acquitted.

The brutal killing led to calls for judicial reform and stronger protection for women from violence.

Of the 49 people convicted, 37 were released last month ahead of their appeals.

(READ MORE: Afghanistan: The role of social media in bringing justice for Farkhunda)