Attackers sentenced to 25 years in prison for their parts in nearly fatal shooting of Pakistan’s female education advocate
ISLAMABAD (Pakistan) — A Pakistani court has jailed 10 men for their involvement in the 2012 shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. Each of the men received 25 years, which is considered a life sentence in Pakistan.
Sayed Naeem said the court announced the ruling at an undisclosed location because of security concerns.
“Each militant got 25 years in jail. It is life in prison for the 10 militants who were tried by an anti-terrorist court,” he said. In Pakistan, 25 years is considered a life sentence.
One of the attackers asked for the young teenager by name before firing three shots, one of which hit the left side of Malala’s forehead and went into her shoulder. Two other schoolgirls were also wounded.
Ms Yousafzai, who was 15 at the time, was shot in the head on board her school bus in the Swat valley in 2012, in an attack that shocked the world.
Officials say the 10 men, who do not include the man named as chief suspect, belonged to the Pakistani Taliban.
Ataullah Khan, a 23-year-old militant, was identified by a police report at the time of the shooting – but he did not appear in the list of 10 men convicted on Thursday.
Last summer Pakistan launched a major offensive in the North Waziristan tribal region, a longtime haven for the Taliban and other armed groups.
Nobel Peace Prize winner
Shortly after the attack almost three years ago, Malala was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Britain, where she now lives. The 17-year-old and her family are unable to return to their homeland due to death threats from the Taliban.
Since recovering from the attempted assassination, Malala has become a symbol of defiance in the fight against militants operating in ethnic Pashtun areas in northwest Pakistan. She has been praised throughout the world for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls an education. In 2014 she won, she was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for children’s rights, despite the risk to her life.