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. Dasea

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

    October 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whatever

    the islamic group is a very peaceful group...just like mexican narcos, right? if you keep your mouth shut, do everything you are told, and stay inside...they are great

    October 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wyohop

    One of the underlining foundations to a democratic system is the belief that every human has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hate to say this, but I really doubt that democracy will be successful in Afghanistan.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Democrats won't be successful there- Afghanistan is owned lock stock and barrel by Reaganite Republicans and their mantra of trickle down and commie killin'.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Interesting demand from virginity obsessed muslims.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bones

      I am afraid you are right. I often can't believe what I read about them.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      You can't understand crazy. These people inbreed all the time. They either have too few or too many chromosomes.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe B-b-b-b-bob

      Women's rights are not something that belong only to democracies - they are fundamental, inalienable rights a s a human being, regardless under which government or religion. Even bloodthirsty Chairman Mao pushed for equal rights for women. Those committing these horrific abuses are as cruel, ignorant and dehumanized as one can be. Not even Islam can justify such actions.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rosa Birmingham, AL

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

    October 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomGI

      If I was Gul's husband I would have fired my AK-47 right through mom's forehead and her cousin too. Eye for an Eye.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rowlandson1324

    Because of know job.

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

    A sick people in a rotten country following an evil religion.

    Hard to see loser nations like that. Even barbaric Somalis treat their own women with some humanity, but these Afghani guys... You know, I begin to wonder if they are simply mad. Like, there is madness endemic in their genome.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      You just described the GOP unwittingly.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mitt Romney

    IT'S OBAMAS FAULT! HEY EVERYONE LOOK AT HIM NOT ME!

    (insert 47% comment here)

    WAAAAH OBAMA IS TERRIBLE PEOPLE ARE DYING

    October 18, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mitt Romney

    I have binders containing 47% of women in the country who feel they are victims, I promise to overturn Roe V Wade because single moms cause gun violence.

    HERPADERP

    October 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. E-Man

    Serves the Daughter right ! Who wouldn't want to have numerous physical violations with swamp-azz, smelly animals ?

    October 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TomGI

    Afghanistan is the shee-ot hole of the planet. And the #1 reck-tum is the mayor of Kabul, Hamid Karzai. His brother, Mahmood Karzai, is the premier brown bowl winder.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mitt Romney

    The red states have wanted the right to behead criminals (AKA disobedient kids, gays, and divorced single moms) for decades.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mitt Romney

    Afghanistan is a Republican's dream.

    -Killing of gays.
    -Zero rights for women or atheists.
    -State run religion, religion run state.
    -No gun laws.
    -No welfare.
    -1% are exceedingly rich, 99% are exceedingly poor.
    -Little in the way of education for all except the super rich.
    -No real healthcare system.
    -Vigilante justice.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Sounds about right based on what these Teavangelicals and mega-bucks right-wingers say openly!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Spot on!

      October 18, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Guest

    This isn't even newsworthy! This sort of bizarre stuff goes on in these primitive tribal countries routinely and we need to recognize their right to do this stuff; sovereign nations and theocracies too! Let them be and quit being so self-righteous – and for sure stay out of their business and trying to make them like "us".

    October 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mitt Romney

    Afghanistan is a Republican's dream.

    -Killing of gays.
    -Zero rights for women or atheists.
    -State run religion, religion run state.
    -No gun laws.
    -No welfare.
    -1% are exceedingly rich, 99% are exceedingly poor.
    -Little in the way of education for all except the super rich.
    -No real healthcare system.
    -Vigilante justice.

    Oh yes

    October 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mitt Romney

    I chuckle when I remember that it was good old Ronald Reagan who armed the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan to go fight the Soviets. As a result, the Mujaheddin forced peasants to grow opium for export to fund their war, then they turned their now unparalleled armament on the west after Russia collapsed.

    Osama was a good friend of the CIA under Reagan, unfortunately like Saddam (who was also originally a friend of the USA) he got out of hand.

    October 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
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