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.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Afghanistan • World
soundoff (1,034 Responses)
  1. newamerican

    I like sandwiches

    October 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. pw1121

    Still think Globalization and the "One World" concept, cool? I like fajitas.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Happy Nemo

    Has anyone blamed Obama yet?

    October 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Give them time.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bregs

    So...this is the law they want? They want to kick out western forces so they can live like this? If I was a female there, I'd never want the US to leave. Crazy!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      If you were a female there, what you want, wouldn't matter.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sally Hendricks

    I know only democrats check cnn.com but do you really believe republicans are like the Taliban? I am amazed at your ignorance of close to 1/2 of America's population. The story here is about Muslins, not republicans or democrats. It's amazing to me the women in power (like Hillary Clinton) are not bringing more of this to light and stressing Muslins to quit harming their precious females. Not only stressing but hollering and screaming. It's atrocious.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      We don't need Clinton bringing this to light. It's been this way since the beginning. If they don't respect their own women, what make you think they'll respect Clinton.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Republicans are cesspool dwelling welfare mooching evangelicals with 6 or 7 kids.

      Get real jobs you hippies

      October 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bud holladay

    Much ado about nothing. We get the leaders we are comfortable with, not the ones best for the job. The reason is that we spend more time on social media and tv shows than in understanding how economies and societies as a whole work. we are ignorant of history and unprepared for the future.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hussain

    That's what they need in America........a few good beheadings......

    October 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DIEGO

    those people are hopeless. no need to help

    October 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ken Margo

    With the internet, there aren't any secrets.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Robert

    Not sure how anyone could assert that Islamic countries are somehow less civilized...

    October 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ken Margo

    Has a women ever cooked your dinner? With a mentality like that, I'm sure your best friend is the palm of your hand.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ken Margo

    What I can't understand is how does Allah let this happen?

    October 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Athena12

    What has made these Afghan people so inhumane? Decades of violence and occupation? The opium trade? This article makes life there sound like hell on earth.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mohammed

      Genetics plus an evil so-called "religion of peace".

      Satan would hve a hard time to come up with a worse mixture.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Athena, obviously they took notes from the Republicans

      October 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dasea

    I am ready for a story about happy people in Afghanistan, but the Nazis won't allow it.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • checi

      Your comment shows how ignorant you are about what the "Nazis" would allow in print. The Nazis always aimed for a positive spin on their invented culture.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dasea

    I am ready for a story about happy people in Afghanistan, but the Nazis won't allow it. yea

    October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40