Case of tortured girl to be taken to Afghan president

Case of tortured girl to be taken to Afghan president
# 11 January 2012 01:46 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The case of a tortured Afghan child bride that shocked the world will be taken directly to President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday, a lawyer for a women’s group said, APA reports quoting website.

Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out after she defied efforts to force her into prostitution, was found in the basement of her husband’s house in northeastern Baghlan province last month.

The girl, who had been locked in a toilet there for six months, is still traumatised and barely able to speak of her ordeal but wants her husband and in-laws jailed, said Afghan Women’s Network lawyer Wida Latif.

"We met her a couple of day ago, and when she saw us she burst into tears," Latif told AFP Tuesday.

"She still suffers from trauma, and still has bruises all over her body. She cannot speak a lot but she told us ’I want my husband and in-laws sent to prison’.

"She needs special care. We will meet the president tomorrow and ask him to give her a place to live in, or else she will be taken to a women’s shelter and will be forgotten like many other women who live in those shelters."

Sahar Gul was sold by her brother to her husband in Baghlan about seven months ago for $5,000.

Her family, from the neighbouring province of Badakhshan, had reported her disappearance to the police after being denied access to the home.

The police raided Gul’s house and found her locked in the basement. Gul’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law and father-in-law were arrested but her husband is still at large.

President Karzai last month intervened in another case involving a woman which also created an international outcry, pardoning a young woman known as Gulnaz who spent two years in prison for "moral crimes".

She was jailed after she reported to police that her cousin’s husband had raped her. Gulnaz gave birth to the rapist’s child in prison.

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.

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