Sunday, August 16, 2009

Is This What We Are Fighting For In Afghanistan?

And this is the government not the goddamn Taliban.

Row over Afghan wife-starving law

An Afghan bill allowing a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to have sex has been published in the official gazette and become law.

The original bill caused outrage earlier this year, forcing Afghan President Hamid Karzai to withdraw it.

But critics say the amended version of the law remains highly repressive.

They accuse Mr Karzai of selling out Afghan women for the sake of conservative Shia support at next week's presidential election.

The law governs family life for Afghanistan's Shia minority.

Sexual demands

The original version obliged Shia women to have sex with their husbands every four days at a minimum, and it effectively condoned rape by removing the need for consent to sex within marriage.

Western leaders and Afghan women's groups were united in condemning an apparent reversal of key freedoms won by women after the fall of the Taliban.

Now an amended version of the same bill has passed quietly into law with the apparent approval of President Karzai.

Just ahead of this Thursday's Afghan presidential election, human rights groups suggest the timing is no accident.

"There was a review process - Karzai came under huge pressure from all over the world to amend this law, but many of the most oppressive laws remain," Rachel Reid, the Human Rights Watch representative in Kabul, told the BBC.

"What matters more to Karzai is the support of fundamentalists and hardliners here in Afghanistan whose support he thinks he needs in the elections."

Women's groups say its new wording still violates the principle of equality that is enshrined in their constitution.

It allows a man to withhold food from his wife if she refuses his sexual demands; a woman must get her husband's permission to work; and fathers and grandfathers are given exclusive custody of children. source BBC

Despite whatever the header might infer, I have no truck with this or any other totally unnecessary illegal war.


Anonymous said...

"I was locked in the toilet for several months and everyone tortured me. My husband, my mother and my sister in laws," she says. "They pulled out my fingernails with pliers and were not giving me enough food or water."

Himself said...

Good morning Maren.

I shall open the link in a short while. I am at the moment, constructing a big post on much the same theme.

A little later then.


Himself said...

They are beyond redemption, there's nothing more I can say.

Anonymous said...

Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out was found in the basement of her husband’s house last December in north-eastern Baghlan province, where she had been locked in a toilet for six months.

“The court sentenced her father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law each to 10 years in prison on Tuesday,” Afghanistan’s supreme court spokesman Abdul Wakil Omari told AFP.

A rights group, Women for Afghan Women which helped Gul in the court case, said it was not satisfied with the sentence.

“We are not happy with the sentence, we are going to help her appeal,” programme manager Huma Safi told AFP.

“How can someone get only 10 years in prison for torturing a girl to almost death,” she said.