Afghan unit to hunt abused bride's husband

3 January 2012 11:50 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A special 10-man police unit has been set up to hunt for the husband and others behind the torture of a 15-year-old Afghan bride, officials say.

Sahar Gul was left starving in a basement by her new husband and his family. The case came to light last month when police rescued the teenager.

Although some family members have been arrested, her husband is at large.

Correspondents say there is pressure on the government to act decisively after a series of high-profile abuse cases.

"This is incredibly serious and not acceptable and all those responsible will be brought in to make an example to others," an interior ministry spokesman told the BBC's Bilal Sarwary in Kabul.

The interior ministry revealed that the unit was set up very recently under the supervision of the Baghlan police force, the province where the family lived.
Police say that Sahar Gul had had her nails and clumps of hair pulled out. In addition they say she had chunks of flesh cut out with pliers.

Health officials told the BBC that her treatment is going well inside Afghanistan, but if necessary she could be taken to India for further medical care.

Windowless room
Sahar Gul was married off to a 30-year-old man around seven months ago, when she was just 14 years old. Her parents contacted police after not being able to see her for several months.

She was rescued from a dark, windowless room in her in-laws' house, according to Baghlan police official Jawid Basharat.

The authorities in northern Baghlan province said they were aware of reports that the girl was tortured after she refused to be forced into prostitution, but could not confirm that was the case.

Rahima Zarifi, director of the Women's Affairs Department in Baghlan, said Sahar had been severely tortured, both physically and mentally, and that the psychological scars were likely to endure.

The police have managed to arrest Sahar's in-laws, but her husband had already fled.

Correspondents say that women in many parts of Afghanistan continue to suffer domestic abuse, often at the hands of their own family or in-laws.
Human rights activists worry that the plight of many women here, especially in rural areas, is being sidelined as the international community focuses on its military drawdown, and puts less emphasis and less pressure on the Afghan authorities over human rights.

In the second quarter of this year alone, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission registered 1,026 cases of violence against women, compared with a total last year of 2,700.

Under Afghan law, the earliest age for marriage for girls is 16. However, almost half of Afghan women are married when they are younger. (Source: BBC)

  Comments - 7

  • Anver Wednesday, 04 January 2012 04:51 AM

    THIS CRIME IS NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM.

    abdul Wednesday, 04 January 2012 04:52 AM

    Similar stories happen in sri lanka. So does buddism preach this kind of torture?

    TIA Wednesday, 04 January 2012 06:03 AM

    This has nothing to do with Islam, but the tribal culture that prevails in the region. Granted, men have used Islam as the excuse for such actions for so long now, that it is no surprise that others will blame Islam for these atrocities.

    lima Tuesday, 03 January 2012 05:19 PM

    i request to give death sentance immediatly to her husband and his family , do not keep and feed them at the expense of others for this brutual crime , afghan is a pure islamic country , then practice the islamic law of death sentance soon.

    t.singingfisher Wednesday, 04 January 2012 12:31 AM

    What a crime .Does Islam preach this kind of torture?

    Malin Wednesday, 04 January 2012 01:43 AM

    This husband may be on his way to Australia thro either Malysia or Indonesia seeking asylum.

    Rishan Yusuf Wednesday, 04 January 2012 11:29 AM

    This doesn't have anything to do with the religion. Don't drag religon into everything.

    The punishment for fellow according to the religion is death sentence.


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