Sahar Gul’s other option would have been jail, though police sent her back to her abusers. About 80% of the 115 or so girls known to be in Afghan jails are there for the “moral crime” of running away from home. It is a sick society where one can only hope to choose one form of punishment as sanctuary from another.
Many of those who resist enhanced legal protections for women will invoke Sharia. Above all, Allah has made striking (yes, striking) disobedient women lawful in Qur’an 4:34. The letter and spirit of that verse continue to cause and rationalize untold suffering.
KABUL “” The Afghan child bride who was tortured in an attempt to force her into prostitution is slowly recovering but is still hardly able to speak, a nurse told AFP during a visit to the girl’s bedside Thursday.
Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out was found last month in the basement of her husband’s house in northeastern Baghlan province, where she had been locked in a toilet for six months.
“Since the past few days, Gul can walk very slowly, she can eat and talk in a frail voice,” said nurse Latifa Mirzad at the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, as the bruised and battered girl looked on silently.
“She is hardly able to speak of her ordeal but sometimes she says in a weak voice ‘my father in-law and mother-in law have beaten me’.”
Gul’s case was taken directly to President Hamid Karzai by a delegation from the Afghan Women’s Network on Wednesday.
“The president assured his full support to strictly punish the perpetrators of the crime against Sahar Gul so that nobody can commit such a crime in the future,” said the network’s Lema Anwari.
Karzai pledged in a statement after the delegation’s visit to take action against the “cowardly” perpetrators of violence against women.
The president said that he always took measures as soon as he heard about cases of violence against women, and would continue to take the issue seriously so that the culprits were brought to justice.
When? Sahar’s husband was reported to be serving in the Afghan National Army. Why can’t they find him?
According to figures in an Oxfam report in October, 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission logged 1,026 cases of violence against women in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2,700 cases for the whole of 2010.