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31 university students sentenced to jail for insulting national flag

FLAGJALALABAD: At least 31 Nangarhar University students accused of insulting the national flag have been awarded jail terms, an official said on Sunday.

Some months back, hundreds of Nangarhar University students staged a protest in support of militants and insulted Afghanistan’s national flag.

After the protest, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) arrested dozens of students and referred them to prosecutors. Appellant Court head Abdul Wali Qazizada sentenced 31 students from five months to two years in jail.

Prosecutor Sherin Mohammad said the students were sentenced because they had insulted the national flag. But defence lawyers insisted the students were innocent and demanded their release.

The judicial delegation, after hearing arguments from prosecutors and defence lawyers, acquitted 21 students under Article 25 of the constitution and Article 4 of the criminal law.

But each of the students was awarded five months in jail for propagating against the government under Article 7 of the constitution and Article 144 of the criminal law.

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, welcomed the ruling.

Student Zabihullah Ghazisaid the university had a positive image among people in the past, but recent protests had bruised its reputation. -Pajhwok


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