Militants sentenced to life in prison for Malala attack, Pakistani court rules

The prosecutor's office announced the ruling Thursday on the ten militants who were accused of being involved in the shooting of Malala Yousafzai.

Matt Dunham/AP
Nobel Peace Prize winners Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India shake hands during the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo, Norway, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014.

A Pakistani court on Thursday sentenced 10 militants to life in prison for their involvement in the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, a public prosecutor said.

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.

Malala was shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban when she was returning from school. The militants targeted her because she advocated education for women. Malala was initially treated in Pakistan, but was later flown to a hospital in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

Malala, now 17, won world acclaim for her campaign and last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Monitor reported on the reaction last fall to Malala's Nobel Prize selection in Pakistan.

Malala was jointly awarded the prize with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Friday.

At 17, Malala is the youngest Nobel Laureate in the prize’s history. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated her and called her the “pride of Pakistan.”

Despite the global attention, the young education advocate is often ridiculed rather than praised in her home country. Over the past two years, right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists have flooded social networking websites with allegations against Malala, accusing her of everything from working for the CIA to faking her injuries and defaming Pakistan.

Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban leader who ordered the attack, is still at large, as are other militants who took part in it. The 10 who were sentenced on Thursday were detained by the military last year.

Last summer Pakistan launched a major offensive in the North Waziristan tribal region, a longtime haven for the Taliban and other militant groups.

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