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Tortured Afghan Girl Wants in-Laws Jailed

World  (tags: world, children, abuse, bravery, Afghan, humanrights )

- 2417 days ago -
A 15-year-old Afghan girl who was tortured for months after her arranged marriage has spoken out for the first time since her rescue, saying she hopes her husband and his family are jailed for her abuse.

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Rose Becke (141)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 1:24 am

alicia m (97)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 1:27 am
noted, gracias

Jonjon Hoy (146)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 1:27 am
This is so sad Rose. No woman should ever have to be treated the way she was treated. I hope justice is prevailed and she can be a woman again and have a new life. The pic was shocking of how they did her. If their was a petition I would surely sign it in her favor for justice.

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 1:30 am
I feel the same Jon

Teresa W (782)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 3:17 am
Heartbreaking. I keep my fingers crossd for her.

Danielle I (40)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 3:34 am
So very sad to know that woman (and in this case children) are being treated this way around the world. I am extremely pleased to read that the parents, sister and husband will be judged on what they have done. I can only hope for her sake that the sentence befits the crime. The physical scars may heal but the emotional trauma this poor girl has been through will be with her for life.

Rose Becke (141)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 3:38 am
I agree Danielle

Yvonne F (181)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 9:53 am
I hope she will get justice! Thanks, Rose!

Vivien Green (153)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 10:36 am
Noted thank you Rose.
This brave young lady must get all the support possible to see her reprehensible inlaws brought to justice.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 12:03 pm
Poor girl! I hope justice will be served.

Joe R (190)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 4:21 pm

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 4:34 pm
Noted. Thanks.

Past Member (0)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 4:34 pm
Online Dating For Big Tall Men--- TallConnect.C-0-M---we've made it the largest tall people dating site. Find someone who is tall, sexy, loving, caring, and good looking. No joke. We've got plenty of tall girls here. They love tall big guys!

Dany Strakova (123)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 5:13 pm
gosh how horrible! I hope justice is done!

Carmen S (611)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 6:08 pm
noted, thanks Rose

Philippa P (154)
Sunday January 8, 2012, 8:14 pm
I hope the in-laws and husband are jailed for life.

Stan B (123)
Monday January 9, 2012, 2:17 am
I hope they are jailed too but in Islamic Afghanistan they probably won't be.
Thanks Rose

Past Member (0)
Monday January 9, 2012, 6:45 am
Hopefully justice is served.

Kristen H (25)
Monday January 9, 2012, 6:47 am
Uh John - we're at war in that country. and... I want these monsters in jail too. Don't Afghans believe in an eye for an eye...?

Elize Labuschagne (181)
Monday January 9, 2012, 7:26 am
Only 15 yrs old, married and tortured. Those people who did it to her must be tortured and jailed. Set an example so these things can stop.

Brenda Towers (0)
Monday January 9, 2012, 11:03 am
Noted. A wicked case of inhumane treatment.

Jim Phillips (3257)
Monday January 9, 2012, 11:16 am
Afghan Marriage

This is not an isolated situation. Many girls under the age of 16 are forced to marry, against their will, to arranged marriages. Sometimes the males are very old and old enough to be grandfathers. If the girls do not comply with the demands in these kinds of marriages are often treated very badly. Sometimes, the girls end up dead.

For more information, copy link into your browser:

Every year, an estimated 10 million girls worldwide are married before they turn 18, usually with no say in when or whom they marry. Child marriage almost always cuts girls’ education short, trapping them and their children in poverty. It often leads to early pregnancy and childbirth, putting girls’ lives and health at risk.

Girls Not Brides is a new global partnership to end the harmful traditional practice of child marriage, so that girls can fulfil their potential. Created by The Elders, Girls Not Brides brings together organisations that work to tackle child marriage at the grassroots, national and global levels around the world.

Ty, Rose.

karen lyons kalmenson (10)
Monday January 9, 2012, 12:17 pm
they should never see freedom again

Despina Vekris (9)
Monday January 9, 2012, 12:28 pm
Thank goodness she isnt afraid to speak out,hopethey get what they deserve

Jane H (139)
Monday January 9, 2012, 12:46 pm
noted. This is ghastly story and shows how hard it is to come by equality---it seems to always take bodily harm for people to understand that inequality HURTS.

Katherine Head (34)
Monday January 9, 2012, 12:58 pm
I would want them jailed too. Thanks for sharing.

Terri Hughes (416)
Monday January 9, 2012, 1:12 pm
She did not deserve this. No one does. They should ALL be locked up for a VERY long time!!!!!!!!

catherine Buchanan (113)
Monday January 9, 2012, 1:25 pm
and bush in invaded afghanistan for women's rights. ha!

Phillip I (67)
Monday January 9, 2012, 2:29 pm
"Her story shocked Afghans."???????

What?? Do they live on the moon? This is a normal day for those camel-fornicating barbarians.

Stuart Thomas (497)
Monday January 9, 2012, 2:42 pm
What has happened to this girt is tragic and should not be allowed to happen to anyone!

Past Member (0)
Monday January 9, 2012, 3:15 pm
What a terrible story and my heart goes out to that poor, brave girl.

And I am so glad that the usual coterie of Muslim haters haven't (yet) arrived on this thread, despite the loathsome comment above by Phillip l.

Margery Coffey (8)
Monday January 9, 2012, 4:31 pm
Some day humans may learn to love their children as much as wild animals love theirs. Then we will have achieved civilization.

Beth M (138)
Monday January 9, 2012, 4:35 pm
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I hope this poor girl gets justice!

Fred Krohn (34)
Monday January 9, 2012, 5:17 pm
Sharia is a crime, not law. All enforcement efforts for sharia should be prosecuted internationally as felony assault or harder. I hope this girl gets a free refugee visa to a friendly nation and that her 'relatives' are arrested and used as a parts bin to repair completely all damage they did to her, then pegged out over anthills.

Caroline Vimla (16)
Monday January 9, 2012, 5:47 pm
Justice must be served.

Jenny Dooley (830)
Monday January 9, 2012, 7:12 pm
It's terribly sad that this poor girl has had this experience. It's good that she was rescued. Thank you Rose.

Alexander Werner (53)
Monday January 9, 2012, 9:32 pm
That's the sad state of Afgan customs. Be it slow abuse, throwing acid into faces or beating - this is the way they treat their women. And no light at the end of the tunnel for them now.

Kara C (15)
Monday January 9, 2012, 10:09 pm
It happened in afganistan so hopefully they just shoot the people who did this to her, there is nothing to stop them from doing to to someone else again. Then again it is afganistan and the victim is a girl.

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Monday January 9, 2012, 11:44 pm
The in-laws should get sever punishment life term in jail so no other person can dare to torture young helpless girls

Rose Becke (141)
Tuesday January 10, 2012, 12:06 am

Paulina Maria (1)
Tuesday January 10, 2012, 5:43 am
god I'm very sorry for this poor woman I just hope that all those who are responsible for the condition to which it is brought to bear the consequences because it can not be to be forced into prostitution, after all, must be some limits

M B (62)
Tuesday January 10, 2012, 2:06 pm
I'm against those arranged child-marriages with "grandpa". It's so sick. At least they should have the same age + - 2 yrs difference.

Margaret K (19)
Tuesday January 10, 2012, 3:42 pm
I would hold out little hope for justice in Afghanistan. It is a wonder the authorities did not imprison her for failing to obey her in laws.

Jenny Dooley (830)
Tuesday January 10, 2012, 9:23 pm

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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday January 12, 2012, 2:30 pm
Thank you, Rose, for bringing this to our attention.

Probably the only reason why anything was done THIS time, is that it was THE SECOND TIME the authorities were alerted to the problems regarding this poor child's mistreatment by her in-law's; and THIS time, it was a MALE relative of hers who found her nearly dead --- starved & unable to speak, after being locked up in a basement without anything to eat or drink for weeks.

When -four months before- she herself had run away & tried to alert community leaders to the ordeal she was going through, they simply returned her to the sadistic family of husband & in-laws, accepting the family's promise that abuse & ill-treatment of the girl would cease...which it did not, of course. This was four months (4 MONTHS) before she was finally discovered by the male relative, when she was at death's door.

This I discovered in 'the Guardian' (I don't care for Yahoo or Google news - they don't have real journalists working for them), because I wanted to know more about Sahar Gul.

"Afghan child bride had escaped torturers but was sent back" :
"Sahar Gul was returned to her in-laws despite their attempts to force her into prostitution"

"A 15-year-old Afghan girl who was nearly tortured to death by her husband and his family attempted to escape her attackers more than four months ago but was sent back home by local authorities, it has emerged.

Sahar Gul, a child-bride married off to a soldier called Gulam Sakhi who then tried to force her into prostitution, is being treated for horrific injuries in a hospital in Kabul after she was rescued last week.

During her ordeal several of her fingernails were ripped out with pliers and one of her ears was badly burned by an iron. Her husband is now on the run, and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been arrested.

Her case has caused uproar in Afghanistan and Hamid Karzai, the country's president, has vowed that those responsible will be punished.

But disturbing new details about how the local community and authorities responded to her abuse has highlighted the ambivalence many Afghans have over how far women should be able to exercise the most basic legal rights.

"She ran away to her neighbour's house and told them that her husband was trying to make her become a prostitute," said local community leader Ziaulhaq. " 'If you are a Muslim, you must tell the government what is happening to me,' she told them."

The locals said they did take the case to the authorities. When the police arrived Sahar's mother-in-law tried to fight them off, screaming all the while that her son had "bought" the girl who therefore had to do what she was told.

She appeared to be alluding to the dowry paid by Sakhi's family, a sum thought to be around £2,700.

Locals say the family simply promised to stop hurting her. Ziaulhaq also alleged that bribes were paid to government officials to hush up the affair.

Although she emphatically denied money was paid, Rahima Zarifi, the women's affairs chief in Baghlan province, said she could not remember the details of the case, or why Gul was sent back home.

The abuse resumed and continued for months until a male relative visited. When he found the girl, who had been starved in a locked basement for weeks, Gul was almost unable to speak.

Fauzia Kufi, an MP who campaigns on women's issues, said that even then local authorities attempted to resolve the abuse through "traditional means. Basically they wanted the relative to sit down with his sister's abusers and work out an agreement," she said.

Kufi also claims there was strong pressure not to publicise the case.

"Many people don't take these sorts of crimes seriously and don't think it should be reported," she said.

"Even the local authorities have blamed the department for women's affairs for not trying to solve it locally between families in the traditional way."

Horrific abuse of women is still common in Afghanistan, particularly against brides who can be regarded as chattels by their husbands or are exchanged between families in order to resolve feuds.

The government is frequently unwilling to enforce laws it has often been forced to pass by the country's international backers, and the writ of the state often does not run in areas far away from urban centres.

However, the case of Gul was not in the remote countryside but in Puli Khumri, an important, mid-sized town which boasts one of the country's few factories. Kufi also claimed that local sources told her that Sakhi, despite having a warrant out for his arrest, returned briefly to his home on Sunday night and that locals did not inform the police.

The claim is strongly denied by community leaders who say they were appalled by the crimes of the family and never attempted a low-key, traditional mediation between the parties.

Abdullah Fahim, a senior adviser to the minister of public health, said the case was part of the "bitter reality" of Afghanistan.

"We have several cases like this, especially in remote parts of the country where there is not a strong attitude to women's rights," he said.

He added that the ministry had dedicated a team of psychiatrists to the girl: "Her physical wounds are getting better day by day, but we are very concerned about her mental condition because she has been tortured for a long period of time."

The law on the elimination of violence against women was passed more than two years ago and criminalised many abuses for the first time, including domestic violence and child marriage.

But a recent UN report found only a small percentage of reported crimes against women are pursued by the Afghan government.

Between March 2010 and March 2011, prosecutors opened 594 investigations involving crimes under the law – just 26% of the incidents registered by the Afghan human rights commission."

I would like to add that the plight of some young Afghan girls & women, too, is so terrible that they burn themselves as a last resort. Perhaps these cases of self-immolation have become less frequent or are just not being publicized as much as they once were, but I remember reading about them or seeing TV reports on them just a few yrs ago, & now that I've googled it, I see that it is still going on:

"Afghan women escape violence through suicide" - Report" "Self-immolation is being used by increasing numbers of Afghan women to escape their dire circumstances and women constitute the majority of Afghan suicides," said the report, completed in November 2009. (but only obtained by The Canadian Press in 2010 under the Access to Information Act) The director of a burn unit at a hospital in the relatively peaceful province of Herat reported that in 2008 more than 80 women attempted suicide by setting themselves on fire, many of them in the early 20s....skip..."The report added that 60 per cent of marriages are forced, and 57 per cent of marriages involve girls under the age of 16. Due to both social norms and lack of access to justice, women rarely report widespread abuse against them, particularly rape or sexual abuse."

In this series of photographs, journalist Stephanie Sinclair documents Afghani women being treated for extensive self-inflicted burns. These women, who were being cared for in a rudimentary public hospital in the town of Herat in western Afganistan, set themselves on fire in acts of utter desperation. Some of the women shared their personal histories of prolonged abuse at the hands of their husbands or families with Sinclair.

March, 2010- Planet Magazine interview with photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair on her Whitney Biennial exhibition: "Self-Immolation: A Cry for Help" : Sinclair is probably the best informed person on this issue since she spent three years of her life documenting the lives of Afghan women being treated for life-threatening, full-body burns, & finding out about the abysmal desperation that caused them to try to commit suicide in what must be the most horrendous way.

Oct, 2009- "Afghan girls burn themselves to escape marriage" -- NBC News Correspondent Adrienne Mong visits the Burns Unit at Herat Hospital & tells how it started; includes stories of some of the girls/women she meets there, such as Rezagul: "Skinny and illiterate, the 13-year-old was married at 11 to a man who was almost 20 years older. He was abusive, she told us, beating her whenever she failed to do her housework. So did her in-laws. "My cruel sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband … they beat me," she said. Out of frustration and homesickness for her own family, Rezagul took drastic action. "I was in very bad condition," she recalled. "I poured gasoline on myself and set myself on fire. I didn't want to be alive." The burns covered the lower half of her body. It took several months for her skin to heal properly and she was currently back at the clinic because of chronic kidney pain. Jalali said he would need to finish reconstructive surgery on Rezagul but with physical therapy she would recover nicely.

Rezagul's story has a happy ending, because the burns ultimately won't show & also, because her father has allowed her to leave that husband, come back to live at her parents' & to start school for the first time in her life. She's thrilled! Many, if not most, of these stories end tragically, though.

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday January 12, 2012, 8:28 pm

Yvonne F (181)
Monday January 16, 2012, 10:39 am
Forgot to congratulate you for the frontpage!!!!! So I do that here! Congratulations, Rose!!!!

Muriel Servaege (53)
Tuesday January 17, 2012, 12:26 pm
Horrible. I hope her husband and in-laws will end up in jail. Arranged marriages shouldn't exist any longer.A girl from Pakistan was killed by her brother because she didn't accept her arranged marriage and wanted to get married with a Belgian boyfriend. Such customs really deny any right to females.
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