Monday, May 14, 2012

Young Afghan Bride Tortured, Raped Tells Her Story

"When they put electric shocks on my feet, I felt like I was going to die at that moment."

Sahar Gul, now 15-years-old stood in court last week and listened to the sentence of three of her in-laws who were charged with torture, abuse and human rights violations.

Gul told the court her story of how she was married off at the young age of 13 to a man in the Afghan Army. After numerous rapes, and unsuccessful attempts to impregnate her, Gul's in-laws hid her away in a basement for months as punishment for failing to meet her obligations as a woman.

Gul described the abuse endured upon her as her in-laws tortured her as she went to the bathroom, struck her skin with hot pokers, ripped out her hair and tore out her finger nails. The plan was to force her into prostitution (see Hollow Bodies and Reluctant Bedfellows for more on this issue). They barely fed her, too.

"When they put electric shocks on my feet, I felt like I was going to die at that moment. I screamed and that's how our neighbors realized there was something happening. For one day and night I was unconscious, feeling dead."

Her relatives received sentences of 10 years each, her husband is on the run and fears that he will come after her. She worries that he will find her and kill her, as they are still married. Gul feels it may be time to leave Afghanistan and study abroad. She has dreams of becoming a doctor or a prosecutor.
Gul's case highlights the struggles that women face in the Middle East. With a future rule of the Taliban back in the realm of possibilities, more than 86% of Afghan women fear living in the country under these circumstances.

Under Taliban rule until 2001, women were not allowed to leave their homes alone without a male relative alongside, nor were they allowed to attend school or hold employment. If they went outside of their homes alone, the women faced public lashings.  

In case that wasn't bad enough, because of recent events, the Afghan government may be withdrawing support for women's human rights, as they continue peace talks with the Taliban.

No comments:

Post a Comment