World

Afghan TV broadcasts trial of 49 people, including policemen, charged in mob killing of woman

  • Afghan security personnel escort  defendants at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Afghan security personnel escort defendants at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defendants attend their trial at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Defendants attend their trial at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

  • Defendants attend their trial at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Defendants attend their trial at the Primary Court in Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, May 2, 2015. The trial of 49 suspects, including 19 police officers, on charges relating to the mob killing of an Afghan woman began in the capital, Kabul, on Saturday. The opening of the trial at Afghanistan's Primary Court was broadcast live on nationwide television. The suspects all face charges relating to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)  (The Associated Press)

The first trial of suspects in the mob killing of an Afghan woman has begun in the capital Kabul.

The trial, which is being broadcast live on TV, opened Saturday and charges 49 suspects, including several police officers, in relation to the March 19 killing of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda.

Prosecutors allege she was beaten to death in a frenzied attack sparked by a bogus accusation that she had burned a copy of the Quran.

The killing shocked many Afghans, though some public and religious figures said it would have been justified if she in fact had damaged a copy of the Muslim holy book.

The incident sparked a civil society movement to limit the power of clerics, strengthen the rule of law and improve women's rights.