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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pakistan Court Jails 10 for Malala Murder Conspiracy

But the man who ordered it and the man who attempted to carry it out are still free
So far, Malala is my hero of the 2nd decade of the 21st century
From BBC Asia
Malala Yousafzai is pictured before officially opening
The Library of Birmingham in Birmingham, central England.
Malala Yousafzai was seriously injured in the 2012 gun attack
A Pakistani court has jailed 10 men for life for involvement in the attack on education activist Malala Yousafzai.

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.

She was awarded last year's Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for children's rights, despite the risk to her life.

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.

Pakistani female students walk past the school of child activist,
Malala Yousafzai, in Mingora the capital of Swat Valley
Malala was shot on her way home from this school in Mingora
A Pakistani teacher leading a class of girls at a school in Mingora,
the main town of Swat valley. The 15-year-old had campaigned
for the right of girls, like these in her home town, to access education
They were tried in an anti-terrorist court in Swat, in north-west Pakistan.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that no local journalists were aware that the court case was taking place, so there is uncertainty as to the exact charges the men were facing and who the witnesses were.

A lawyer from the local District Bar Association told the BBC that "there were no open hearings".

Those convicted "had a role in the planning and execution of the assassination attempt on Malala", a police official in Swat told Reuters.

A Pakistani army soldier stands guard at an army post overlooking
the city of Mingora in Swat valley, the Yousafzai family's home town
Death threats

Pakistani officials believe local Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah ordered the attack. He is thought to be in Afghanistan.

Ms Yousafzai, now 17, was treated for her injuries in the UK and currently lives in Birmingham with her family. They are unable to return to Pakistan because of Taliban death threats.

A file photograph showing Laureate Malala Yousafzai displaying her medal
during the award ceremony of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize at
Oslo City Hall, Norway, 10 December 2014.
Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaigning work
Profile: Malala Yousafzai
1997: Born in Swat Valley, Pakistan
2009: Wrote anonymous BBC blog about life under the Taliban
2009-10: Identity revealed in TV interviews and a documentary
2011: International Children's Peace Prize nominee
2012: Shot in assassination attempt by Taliban
2013: Addresses the United Nations
2014: Becomes youngest ever winner of Nobel Peace Prize
2015: An asteroid is named after Malala

Malala speaking at the UN
Pakistan's mountainous Swat valley was overrun by the Taliban from 2007 to 2009.

It was the threat by Mullah Fazlullah to close down schools offering girls' education that led to Malala's diary for BBC Urdu, which was written when she was just 11 years old.

The blog, which described life under the Taliban, was anonymous, but the schoolgirl also began to campaign publicly for children's rights.

'Who is Malala?'

Malala Yousafzai at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on 7 Nov. 2012
Malala underwent further surgeries at QEH
By the time Malala was shot in October 2012 most militants had been cleared from the valley by Pakistan government forces - but people who spoke out were still at risk.

Malala was travelling home from school in the town of Mingora when her bus was flagged down.

A group of gunmen asked "Who is Malala?" and opened fire.

Two of her classmates were also injured in the attack.

Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz have recovered from their injuries and are now studying at Atlantic College in Wales.

Malala Yousafzai (left) and Shazia Ramzan chat after meeting
for the first time after the attack. They were reunited in Birmingham in 2013