An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has sentenced 10 men to life in prison for plotting the attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012. The militants behind the attack on the Nobel Peace Prize winner and two other schoolgirls were identified and arrested last September.
The men admitted that Mullah Fazlullah, commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group, was the mastermind behind the attack, the Express Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper, reported citing Asim Bajwa, the spokesman for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations. Pakistani authorities had been criticized for making slow progress in bringing the accused to justice.
“This is a routine problem in Pakistan,” Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a Pakistani political scientist, had told the Daily Beast in 2012, adding: “We don’t have proper investigations, our prosecutors are ill-equipped to handle terrorism cases, and there is no system to protect witnesses so no one speaks up.”
Yousafzai was attacked while traveling in a school bus after a campaign to promote girls’ education in Pakistan. A gunman had entered the bus, asked for her name and fired three shots, one of which hit the left side of her forehead and settled in her shoulder. She was later moved to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, U.K., for intensive rehabilitation.
Yousafzai, who currently lives in Birmingham, has written a book titled, “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.”
"We should all fight for our rights, for the rights of children, for the rights of women and the rights of every human being," Yousafzai, now 17 and the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace prize, said during her acceptance speech, adding: "This is not the end of this campaign; this is only the beginning. I want to see every child going to school."