October 18th, 2012
12:16 PM ET

Afghan woman slices daughter-in-law's throat for refusing prostitution, police say

[Updated Monday 11:30 a.m.] Afghan police now say that while the woman's throat was slashed, it was not fully cut off - and therefore was not technically a "beheading."

[Updated Thursday 12:16 p.m.] A young woman had her head chopped off for refusing to prostitute herself - and one of the killers was her mother-in-law, police say.

The other was the mother-in-law's cousin.  And both admit it, according to Afghan police.

To most people, the slaying of 20-year-old Mah Gul is unimaginable.

But it's just "one more incident that highlights the violent atmosphere that women and girls face in Afghanistan and the region," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said Thursday.

The killing happened Sunday in Herat province, in southwest Afghanistan along the Iranian border.

Gul's husband is a baker.  When he left home for work, his mother and her cousin tried to force the young wife into prostitution, said Noorthan Mikvad, spokesman for Herat police.

When she wouldn't do it, they beheaded her, he said.

In a statement, Nossel said women and girls in the region "are raped, killed, forced into marriage in childhood, prevented from obtaining an education and denied their sexual and reproductive rights. Until basic human rights are guaranteed ... these horrible abuses will continue to be committed."

The U.S. State Department says some "Afghan women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution, forced marriages – including through forced marriages in which husbands force their wives into prostitution, and where they are given by their families to settle debts or disputes."

Some families even knowingly sell their children into forced prostitution, the State Department said, "including for bacha baazi – where wealthy men use groups of young boys for social and sexual entertainment."

Herat police say their investigation found that Gul's husband and father-in-law were not involved in her killing.

CNN has extensively reported on the abuse of girls and women in Afghanistan, a nation where under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, women were banned from classrooms, politics or employment. Women who wanted to leave home had to be escorted by a male relative and were forced to wear burqas. Those who disobeyed were publicly beaten. In some parts of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, locals were encouraged to blacken the windows on their homes so women inside could not be seen.

The Afghan government, including a woman running for the presidency of the country, has tried to make it relatively easier for young women to go school. In 2004, girls were formally guaranteed a right to an education under the Afghan constitution.

Yet major problems persist and girls are in extraordinary danger in part of the country. They are terrorized walking to school. In 2009 in Peshawar, Pakistan, near Afghanistan, the Taliban issued an official edict mandating that no more girls should be able to go to school. That was after the Taliban had regained their stake in the control in the region after the 2001 invasion.

Girls and women's families sometimes abuse and kill them. In July, the Taliban executed a woman in public, justifying the killing by saying she had committed adultery.

In 2011, people around the world were appalled to learn about a then-13-year-old named Sahar Gul who had been married off to a member of the Afghan Army. Sahar said her husband raped her, and enraged that she didn't immediately conceive, her in-laws locked her in a basement for months. They tortured Sahar with hot pokers and ripped out her nails. Ultimately, she said, they wanted to force her into prostitution as punishment for failing her obligation as a woman.

Her face made famous on Time's cover, young Aesha had her nose and ears hacked off for running away from her husband's house. Aesha was brought to the United States. Her life continues to be hugely challenging as she's forever emotionally scared by the abuse she suffered.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • World
soundoff (1,034 Responses)
  1. George Cantstandya

    Sounds like a Mitt Romney presidency, if the POS is elected.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mitt Romney

    Steve, if Obama is a muslim, he's about the most liberal, culturally advanced muslim who ever existed.

    The fact that Twit Rommel (AKA the greasiest of car salesmen) and his crony Lyin' Ryan (AKA the amateur telemarketer who still sounds more mechanical than an answering machine) still haven't developed an actual fiscal plan doesn't give me much hope for change should they be elected.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mitt Romney

    The average GOP member thinks gays are an abomination, women belong in the bed and kitchen only, education is a waste of time, the earth is 6000 years old, and that we should assassinate "that dayyum soc'lehst obammer"

    Exactly how are they that different from the Taliban?

    October 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mitt Romney

    In 20 years Republicans will have gone extinct as our culture has evolved beyond their silliness.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mitt Romney

    The GOP wants your vote if you're a hispanic or woman or college student.

    Of course in return for your vote they promise they will only take away "a few of your rights."

    October 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HA25

    You're on the side of Joe Biden and you mock Paul Ryan. That takes guts, man.
    Not to mention the fact that Obama has actually IMPLEMENTED his fiscal plan and it's taken us nowhere. I'll take an imaginary one from a successfull business man to one that's a proven failure.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. W.G.

    pigs !

    October 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mitt Romney

    Want to ban gays?

    Want women to stay the heck in the kitchen making "sammiches?"

    Want your child to by law only be allowed to date someone of their own race?

    VOTE REPUBLICAN!

    October 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Royalty

    Talibans are a bunch of gay extremist who were born by men conceive by men n hate women cause we prettier..when they are born they pass through human shtt n out the rectum into the world..

    October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. vahellbilly

    OK... We have a culture where THE religion of mandate is islam... Women who commit adultery can and will be put to death, pick any method.

    Then, within the same culture and religion, a young woman is beheaded because she won't hook... Thoroughly confused I am. Then again, not really... The Afghans (who are ALL islamists) grow, cultivate and distribute opium, which is a drug.

    Hypocrisy of the highest order...

    October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Kind of like the GOP...

      Anti-drug but secretly drug addled.
      Anti-gay yet secretly gay.
      Anti-women but secretly philandering with dozens of them.
      Anti-contraception, but have you ever seen any of them have an unplanned pregnancy?
      Anti-abortion, but see above!
      Anti-welfare, but half their former businesses took handouts to survive.
      Anti-education but they donate billions to private schools.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roma

    Another made up story

    October 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      If it's another made up story, why are you here?

      October 18, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. requiredFirstName

    Having lived in US for almost a decade, I can say most people here are at least reasonably nice. But when I come online, seems like people who come here are from somewhere else. So much anger and hatred.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      How we act online is how we really feel.

      How we act in real life is how we act when we think we have something to lose by telling the truth as it really is.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Trust me, those nice people are the same ones that blog.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mitt Romney

    True, but the Afghanis, Yemenis, Saudis, Iranians, and Somalis are all trying to develop advanced Pakistan-generated beheading technology.

    So is the GOP in Texas, they have been trying to gain the right to use beheading for decades. Lethal injection isn't painful enough for them.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ken Margo

    More reasons why religion is on its way to extinction. The only way to solve this issue is for the women to stab their men in the neck while they are sleeping, so that they'll suffer til the end. Drag the men bodies into the desert and burn them to a crisp. Then start over and teach children the proper way to behave.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mitt Romney

    Mitt Romney is an abomination and should be subject to the same discrimination he heaps upon gays and women.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      No, Allah, Muslims, Koran, Mohammed and Islam are the true abomination. Now you have angered them by suggesting someone else is abominable.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      You left out Christianity!

      October 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayVMN

      you mean you right?

      October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
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