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. Eric the Commenter

    This is a different culture, who are we to judge?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • suziecoyote

      Old and non-starter of an argument. Barbarism is barbarism and human beings know evil and are free to judge.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • CNNNN

      Human rights trumps culture, ya idjit.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harpman

      There are certain rights and wrongs that are independent of culture. It is intuitive to human nature that human life should be respected and innocent people left along to live their lives. I supposed you were comfortable with the Nazi culture of trying to eliminate a race of people.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iowan

      Are you serious???

      October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ms codpiece

      we are humans with morals and values that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness....so yes we can judge! Just because it is their "culture" does not make it right. Terror is not a culture...it is a learned behaviour and because MEN are the ones who are controlling it....no one stands up for the weak or abused! Your apathy towards this situation makes me wonder if you would have felt the same way during the holocoust!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamayomama

      Eric, the irony went right over their heads.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heywood

      Culture? that is for civilized humans, these creatures are stone aged barbarians.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BARACK OBAMA

    C'mon people, let's pay attention to the real war on women the one by republicans. Romney want to make jobs available so women actually have to work. I say put them all on welfare.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Come on. Kennedy is the only one with a confirmed kill in the war against women.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      There's no war on women. Women have it better here in America than anywhere else...yet they treat men like a commodity.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Suzi

      As long as I can abort any hinderance to my lifestyle, you have my vote!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    What is the Spirit of the Bayonet ? and what makes the Green Grass Grow ?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sidewinder

    So does the husband get to kill his mom and her cousin in like an honor killing or something now?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Now that was my same thought...if the husband found out his wife was being prost itued, would he have killed her because it caused dishonor?
      What the heck is up with these antiquated notions of honor?
      This poor woman died protecting her honor; her mil killed her...why?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidewinder

      I know! Just when you think you understand their convoluted sense of "honor" something like this comes along and they act like "So what? It's perfectly within my rights as the MIL to turn this girl into a pro on the street corner." And what is the hubby supposed to do now? Does mom have to take the place of the wife? eeweeeee! I am never going to Afghanistan. Ever!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES71

      The family can sell woman's honoro for profit since she is their property. But the woman has to keep her honr since she is not considered the sole owner of it, so to speak. The family owns her honor. If she loses it by her own will she dishonors the family. But the family can sell it, if they want to . The bottom line – a woman is a property and doesnt' ahve a free will.

      Craxy, I know.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. semper fi

    Sure glad we spilled our blood for these 3rd century people. Very Sad.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sidewinder

      Ooooraah!

      October 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluegillonthefly

      Yeah, me too. I thought Obama was going to get us out of Afghanistan, but I guess he's sitting there with his fingers crossed behind his back and thinking, "Well, I am, but I didn't say when." That would explain why, a few months ago, we signed an agreement with the Afghan government to remain for 10 years. And what happens in 10 years when they are still just as screwed up? Do we stay for another 10?

      What we should have done in Afghanistan back in 2001-2 is to have gone in there, killed everyone that we thought needed killing, bombed everything that we thought needed bombing, all with a very, very heavy hand, and then left – leaving it to serve as an example of what happens if you mess with us.

      Instead, we're still there, still losing the lives of our courageous service members, for a place that can't be fixed because it doesn't want to be. It isn't too late to do what we should have done 10 years ago, but neither Obama nor Romney have the stones to do it. So, here we sit, with more body bags pretty much every day.

      @Jocho Johnson – yeah, who would have imagined that we should have supported a Soviet invasion, but you're probably right. The Russians, at least, had no problem with killing those who needed killing.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duc749

      Hey there Devil Dog, maybe we fight over there because the Taliban provided a safe haven for Al Qaeda, who then killed more than 2,000 of our fellow Americans in the worst terror attack our country has ever experienced.

      I sure hope you're out by now. Leave the fighting to those of us who are still in.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CharlieWilsonWannabe

    Can't wait to see what awaits that quagmire once ISAF in its entirety pulls out, of course Americans will still be there for the next 20 years.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. semper fi

    I guess If you don't give Head you loss yours in the Afghan culture.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Burnzee

    their is no war on women coming from the gop. you just like that little catch phrase and use it ad naseum. this is what a war on women really looks like you idiot.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      Yet the liberals, who hate religion, continue to defend these people. They treat women like dirt, but the liberals continue to defend Muslims. Part of a long list of liberal hypocrisy.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sinfully Yours

    Momma had a baby and its head popped off!

    +++pops head off dandelion+++

    October 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AKingsBaby

    There have been times when I have wanted to read up on Islam so I could understand the violence. Then I read a story like this and know in my heart that I could never have an understanding.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mihas

      Maybe you should try to read a little more so you wouldn't be so ignorant. The story is in no way related to Islam as it is just a few sick people. Once you read the Quran and teachings you will see the truth and why so many Americans and Europeans have converted to Islam in the midst of 9/11 and these wars.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Heywood

      Mihas

      Yea right. Mohammad was a violent swine pedophile who mated with pigs sheeps and goats on a regular basis. I just want a cartoon of mohammad performing oral on a pig while he take a camel in his anal cavity. that would be amusing.

      October 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David

    I guess this gives a new meaning to "giving head".

    October 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sinfully Yours

      True, but did she swallow? 😉

      October 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sinfully Yours

    I think they used an exacto knife. That or just a sharpened stone.

    Neanderthals!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      Don't insult the Neanderthals..lol. These people are kretens.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh

      Article clearly says Afghanistan not Crete. R E A D

      October 18, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Surgcl

      That is "cretins"

      October 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obamayomama

      Dont' insult the cretins. These people are simians.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      There’s no stoppen the cretins from hoppen. One, two, three, four cretins gonna hop some more.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe - Wilmington, DE

      That's CRETIN - with a "C." Takes one to know one.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      I see that other people have already mentioned this but if you're going to do a proper insult, learn how to spell. It's "cretins".

      October 22, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • YourNameHere

      but wait! I thought you wanted to keep us women since we get paid so little compared to men? Don't you want to review your binders & spare a few of us so we can do work for little pay?

      October 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • John D

      You should be well prepared then since Obama signed the NDAA.

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

      Sorry Mitt... you either missed your last meds or doubled down. The real dictator is the Neo National Socialist himself... the one.... the only...... brotha Obama.... more free stuff for the peasants.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frederick1337

      What do you mean, almost here? Obviously you havnt ever been ticketed for merely being poor and sleeping. They call that decriminalization in California, because saying it is an infraction they can then deny you equal defense with attorney, where they would actually have to prove you were commuting a crime for merely sleeping.

      October 18, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Toronaga

      I really like the part where the heads of gays are chopped off. That's very appealing. The rest of that stuff is pretty good also.. This is too good to be true. Your lying.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Toronaga

      Sounds GREAT. Say the first part again!!! PLEASE.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      How about we start preemptively. We can start with your head first.

      October 18, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • brent

      When you say things like that it does not help Obama. It does not help Democrats, and it does not help America. Why can we not have a civilized discussion of the issues that we face as a country. If you have a good idea, then put it forth, and we will debate it on it's merits. Calling names, and making ridiculous statements do not help anything. Grow Up, you might even make a decent adult!

      October 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kat1043

      Wow! You're such a troll. How much did Obama pay you to sit there and post those little things that pop into your little head? Or, did he just let you crawl farther up the big "O". What an honor. (sigh)

      October 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4th party

      Mitt Rommel!

      POTW!

      October 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darwin

      Completely agree with the neanderthal assessment. Their devolution to a caveman past will hopefully lead to a similar path of extinction.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • artemis3

      Darwin, you ought to read up on the latest genetic and scientific research regarding Neanderthals. As a distinct branch of humanity, they are no longer with us. However, if you are of European decent, up to 10 percent of your genetic heritage may be from our cousins, the Neanderthals. Research the facts. In any case, they were not the stupid, lumbering morons of popular fiction. They were intelligent, competent, creative people of an earlier age.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • raziq83@gmail.com

      Do you people even care about the condition of these third world countries? You are so selfish and self-obsessed. These Afghan women are suffering and you are asking if they cut off her head with a stone? I'm disgusted.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • bob scratchet

      Proving yet again, that you do not have to be intelligent to use the internet.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • patandfritz

      And you are probably one of the sickos who claim us Republicans make those kinds of sick remarks that you flaming liberal just made. You make me sick.

      October 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • tact

      Your post in itself makes you no different.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • RAYMOND FRANKLIN

      THAT IS FUNNY MITT ROMMEL BUT AFTER YOU' RE FINNISHED WHO'S GONNA FIGHT THE SYRIANS?

      October 19, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • mr774

      >Sinfully Yours

      "I think they used an exacto knife. That or just a sharpened stone.

      Neanderthals!"

      I think Neanderthals never did such a cruel thing to chop off a femail's head.

      October 19, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Heywood

      neanderthals were almost human, that cant be said for these bowel movements.

      Every life in that country is not worth a scratch on an American soldier

      October 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KeninTexas

      Putz

      October 19, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Taskmaster

      To: mitt rommel You fit very well into that last catagory.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • madmax

      aah. must be fun to get on a soapbox .. Maybe you should first read up on domestic violence here in good old usa .

      October 19, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • CaesarXIII

      Your mom called, she said its time to move out of the basement and get a job. Oh wait, you elected Obama I forgot, no jobs.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Name*John Nganga

      You might as well not have gotten her anyway! She may have asked you to get out of your little world, and listen to the world out there.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Legion

      You are aware that the NAZI's were in fact Socialists right? Are you equally aware that liberalism is FAR closer to Socialism then Conservatism will ever be? By that ration, you should be yelling your SEIG HEIL's to Obama rather than Romney.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • tact

      That is perhaps the most ignorant post I have ever read. In no way did your statement reflect any form of rational and intelligence that would compare a dictator who was imperialistic by nature that felt a German presence around the world to dominate and control all to our president even though he is far from perfect. You have made the people who have read your posting dumber . May God have mercy on your soul.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe - Wilmington, DE

      That's not fair to the neanderthals.

      October 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rosslaw

    Anybody for staying in Afghanistan after 2014?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chippy

    sounds like a great country

    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. alientech

    The real war on woman that the Left will never care about.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • conrad shull

      The Left's only important criteria in judging a country or culture is how anti-American is it, with more being better.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
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