Ten of the men responsible for the brutal shooting attack on Malala Yousafzai have been sentenced to life in prison by a Pakistani court.
Malala was shot on her way home from school in 2012, targeted by Pakistani Taliban militants because of her outspoken stance against Pakistani girls being denied an education.
“Ten attackers who were involved in the attack on Malala Yousafzai have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” a court official told AFP news agency.
While these are the first sentences handed down related to the attack, a Pakistani security official said none of the 10 men convicted were among the four or five attackers who directly carried out the shooting, which in addition to Malala also injured two other girls.
The man who reportedly fired the gun at Malala is named Ataullah Kahn and is on the lam in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah is the official who ordered the attack on Malala and an additional 22 other targets, and is also wanted by authorities for the attempted murder.
Ongoing threats against Malala and her family have forced her to live outside Pakistan, in the U.K. But unbelievably, Malala says she isn’t angry about her experience. In a 2013 address to the United Nations, she said that she doesn’t hate her attackers and that instead the experience has given her strength, power and courage.
“I do not even hate the Taliban who shot me,” she said. “Even if there is a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him.”
Last year, Malala, at 17 years old, became the youngest-ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Rather than wallow in her tragedy, Malala has become an international symbol for the rights of women and girls and the fight against Taliban militants in Pakistan, who don’t believe girls should have access to education.
“These terrorists are afraid of the power of women, and they are not letting us go to school because education will make us more powerful,” she said. “That’s why they stopped us.”