Friday, March 30, 2012

400 Afghan Women Jailed for "Moral Crimes"

Why does this sound oh so familiar? Perhaps because it is.

Those poor long suffering Afghani women, and not a bit of hope for the future. What the future holds in store under President Hamid Karzai, for these wretched unfortunates is bad enough, without even considering what life is going to be like under the Taliban when it all goes to hell in a hand basket.

I have two previous articles, both featuring the antics of Hamid Karzai, Is This What We Are Fighting For In Afghanistan? (2009) and Afghanistan: State Controlled Women's Shelters A Recipe For Tears (2011) Both articles, harbingers of what is to come, and goes without saying, none of it good for women.

Study: 400 Afghan women jailed for "moral crimes"

March 28, 2012

(AP) KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's criminal justice system has made little progress in the way it treats women accused of running away or adultery, despite public commitments from the Afghan president to protect women's rights, Human Rights Watch said Wednesday.

The New York-based group's report on women jailed for so-called "moral crimes" comes as many women's rights activists say they're worried that President Hamid Karzai will abandon promises to protect those rights as he tries to court the Taliban for peace talks. Under the Taliban regime, women were forced to wear body-and-face covering burqas and were not allowed out of the house without a male family member as an escort.

There is no entry in the Afghan penal code for the crime of "running away" and yet hundreds of women have been jailed for fleeing their families or husbands.

In this Jan. 19, 2003 file photo, Zarghona, who is in prison because she left her first husband who abused her and forced her into prostitution, holds her seven-month-old son Balal and looks out through their cell window, at the Kabul Women's Prison in Afghanistan.

Women interviewed by Human Rights Watch often said they were trying to escape abusive husbands or forced marriages. In some cases, those who had left were assumed to have cheated on their husbands, and therefore were jailed for adultery, which is a criminal offense in Afghanistan.

The report said police, prosecutors and judges routinely ignore women's accusations of abuse, arguing even in the face of physical evidence that women are either lying about the abuse or making it seem more severe than it was.

"What's needed first is the political will on behalf of the Afghan government to prosecute violence against women," Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, told reporters in Kabul.

In one case cited, prosecutors declined to file charges against the husband of a woman who went to police with wounds from being stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver. The prosecutor did not question that her husband had inflicted the wounds, but declined to prosecute him because the injuries had not been life-threatening. The woman, identified as Nilofar M., was then imprisoned for adultery because she told prosecutors she had invited another man to her house.

"Police, with a crime victim sitting in front of them, see a criminal instead," said Heather Barr, the group's Afghanistan researcher and author of the report.

The report is based on interviews in October and November with 58 women and girls in Afghanistan who have been jailed for "moral crimes" — primarily running away from home or adultery. About 400 women are currently in Afghan prisons because of moral crimes, the report said. That's lower than in August 2010, when the U.N. reported that 565 women were in detention in Afghanistan for moral crimes.

But those 400 remain imprisoned despite a numbers of releases by President Hamid Karzai of groups of women accused of moral crimes in recent years. In the most recent such incident, Karzai announced a blanket pardon earlier this month for women who ran away from their parents to make a love match or who chose a different husband than their families wanted. The government says it is working on identifying and releasing these women.

Neither the Interior Ministry, which controls the police and the prisons, nor the attorney general's office responded to calls seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Supreme Court said that men and women are treated equally in Afghanistan's laws and courts.

"The courts of this country hear equally cases of all Afghan citizens, without paying attention to whether they are men or women," spokesman Abdul Wakhil Omery. He said the chief justice had seen the Human Rights Watch report, but did not find specific enough evidence to prove wrongdoing or negligence in any individual cases. CBS


Anonymous said...

Case Studies of "Running Away" and Zina

Of the 42 married women and girls interviewed for this report, 22 were arrested as a direct result of having run away in order to flee abuse by their husband or family members of their husband.

The most common reported abuse was beatings in the home of in-laws, inflicted not only by husbands but also by fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and other wives and their children.

Case of Shayla P.

My husband loved another girl. He came to me and he said, "I never want to divorce you, but I want to marry another girl."

Shayla said she refused, telling him: "No, I don’t agree with your decision, because what will be the situation of my children if you marry with another woman?"

Historically, some communities have sanctioned "honor" killings in which a woman could be killed by her own relatives for bringing "dishonor" upon the family by conduct perceived as breaching community norms of sexual behavior—including being a victim of sexual violence.

Anonymous said...

Afghanistan: Women under imperialist occupation

Himself said...

Good morning my lovely, I trust you, like the tulips, are blooming?

That's a long one, I shall save it for a quiet moment, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good evening dear blogger. The tulips begin to bloom, but it is wood anemones at the moment and there are new green leaves on the common hollyhocks, one of my favourite plants.

In honour of spring and the botanical integration I bought sea thrift today. We call it English grass because of the design of thrift on the reverse of the British three pence coin issued between 1937 and 1952, I just learned. Not how we call it of course, but the reason why.

I cannot send you tulips from Turkey so I hope you’ll be satisfied with warm greetings from your little tulip.

Himself said...

How lovely your words my sweet petal, perhaps as I retire this night early, with you I might share, alas not words of my own, but those of Tennyson, in this quite favourite short poem of mine.

Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milkwhite peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

Whilst thou, be lost in me?

Goodnight my lovely,

Mel x

Himself said...

Wrong year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, a wonderful example of lateral thinking.

Himself said...

Afghanistan: Women under imperialist occupation

No, thank you, that was an excellent article.

I couldn't help but draw a parallel as I read it, with an eco-system, where everything is related and every cause has a reaction.

When will the scales fall from the eyes of Americans? That there is something noble in US foreign policy, when in actual fact, all it constitutes is suffering, death and destruction.

Anonymous said...

OT @31 March 2012 20:14
Botanical integration news.

Xenophobia in the shrubbery?


Himself said...

Thank you Maren. that was something a little different.