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. Piglet

    Well now she won't be able to do anything.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Patriot

    A nation of barbarians. Let's get out of there and let them kill each other, because no amount of U.S. interference (not to mention money) is ever going to change these animals.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • U R No Romney

      No, patriot. We just need to take the shackles off of our military and let them have at the Taliban and KILL THEM ALL!!!!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saltysister

    Very sad. And this type of voilence towards this young woman is coming from women themselves. There is no hope for women who suffer horrible acts like this one. My heart goes out to this young lady.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwl

      I am sorry but it would appear that most people in the middle east have not yet evolved out of the neanderthal period. They say this is God's law. Who are they trying to kid, the being that would sanction such actions is the devil. Their whole life style is based upon domination and control, and not what any kind of a God would demand.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ruby Slippers

    WOW!!! Honey Boo Boo!!! Her opinion really counts. Someone to really look up to, a reality show "star." I don't watch the show, but from the pictures I have seen of HBB and her Mother, they both are obese, and in need of a healthier diet.

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

      better then other reality trash out there so a little girl is the least of white trash tv.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      What are you TALKING about???

      October 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PhillCo24

    I hope that mother in law suffers a slow and painful death.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jake

    Maybe next time she'll do what she's told like a good women should.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmoffatt

      What a hoot! I surely will keep my mouth, et al. shut in anticipation of losing my head. I truly thought my mother-in-law was rather mean. Evidently, my imagination was not as broad as I thought.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZippyPinhead

      0/10. Way to obvious. You loose your troll merit badge.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin in VA

    Animals.

    Nuff said

    October 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Slappy_McGiggles

    Hell must be quickly filling up with Muslims.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. labandme

    It's the muslim way. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. danny

    It's alright that was her only means of making an income, when you are not allowed to get an education what other profession is available other than growing poppies.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Burnzee

    Some how obama will make this Americas fault. When Gov Romney wins the election this November I hope he does the right thing and nukes afghanistan, iraq and iran. The world would be such a better place without this region. Isreal is our only friend out there. obama has no idea what he is doing and he can't stop campaining long enough to do the right thing. We all know obama has no idea what the right thing is anyway. Maybe your ugly ass wife can lead you in the right direction but she is to busy hanging out with little kids on the Disney channel because she is a pedophile.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whitney

      Were you dropped on your head repeatedly as a baby? You make no sense!!!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmoffatt

      I'm confused. Please check your dictionary. Not everyone has the ability to communicate, in writing – but, your spelling leave much in question.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Roughing

    You can't cure.. something..
    I forget what it is

    October 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rmoffatt

    What is truly amazing is that we think we can possibly change the mindset of the Afganis. We need to leave the area, immediately. This lack of concern for human rights is embedded and intrinsic within their life focus. They will never be acceptable within Western core values. Leave them be. And, in leaving them to their own devices, save the lives of our troops. These are tribal people – with their own code of behaviour. We will never understand (in the West) nor change their approach in life decisions.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • AAMES

      yes, and STOP giving them our tax dollars! If they "love" their ways so much, then they can either thrive or perish by them!

      October 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fran

    This is horrific!!! Is this the 1200's for heaven's sake? Can't something be done???? Sanctions, import and export restrictions??? Something???

    October 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rmoffatt

      I would recommend offering all girls/women in these subjegated societies asylum in the United States. One can only imagine the brain trust and value added that these people might offer. Plus, they might truly appreciate the opportunity to have a semblance of freedom, such as it is.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. AAMES

    Oh goodie! Let's give these inhuman countries even more American money so they can continue their heinous human rights infringements!

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