A Pakistani court on Thursday sentenced ten men to life in prison for their involvement in a 2012 assassination attempt on teenage education activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“They have received life sentences for the Malala case, but there is further legal action ongoing against them too so their [prison] terms may be enhanced,” said one of the lawyers involved in the case.
Life imprisonment is equal to 25 years in Pakistan. Lawyers and government officials declined to provide details about Thursday’s sentencing, or other legal action against the men, who have the right to appeal.
Yousafzai rose to prominence after writing an online diary of her experience under the rule of the Pakistani Taliban, who had overrun much of her native Swat valley in 2007 and 2008.
Her criticism of Taliban policies, especially their restrictions on girls’ education, angered the group, which labeled her a “Western puppet” and “an enemy of Islam”.
In October of 2012, Yousafzai was on her way home after school when two gunmen stopped the school van, and shot her in the head after identifying her.
Yousafzai was stabilized by military doctors in Pakistan and then flown for emergency treatment and rehabilitation to Britain, where she lives today.
Last October, Yousafzai was selected to win the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian 60-year-old Kailash Satyarthi.
The committee wrote that Yousafzai "has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education."
Noting on the symbolism of the choice, the committee wrote that it "regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism."
Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the prize, which was infamously awarded to the European Union (EU) for its existence, and to U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 almost immediately after he assumed office before he had any achievements to his name.