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. Planet Kolob

    Any day now this exact headline will be on the news again.

    Only it will be in Alabama, and involve a fundamentalist Republican evangelical.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack 63

      and you will respond with the typical left wing response you libs always do, and that is to do nothing.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Planet Kolob

    This sounds like the sort of behavior roughly modeled by rural tea party members.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack 63

      Or any extreme left wing nut.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Yes jack, because the far left of the Democrats constantly try to take rights away from gays and women.

      Are you a FOX fan disgruntled that FOX closed comments on their website because their fans were saying the N word and threatening to assassinate the president like they have been since the Clinton Era?

      October 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Panties

    Definitely not a pretty picture.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Meanwhile in the Afghanistan presidential debate the Taliban candidate defended his record on women by claiming that he had binders full of women's heads .

    October 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Anyone who has followed Romney's comments knows he's secretly a muslim- after all we haven't seen his birth certificate and his ideas sound a lot like extreme islam- hate for gays and racial minorities, buddy-buddy with the Chinese, loves the idea of singular tyrannical power and rule...

      October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob-Texas

      and the Afgan president said this only happened because of a video.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wisc

      @ Planet Now that you got all that out, get someone to change your diaper.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LostinSLC

    Show me where Romney ever said that

    October 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jack 63

    Show me any recognised religious text that condones what this story is about you ignorant twit.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    PLANET SLOB, women and gays have their rights here. We just don't want their beliefs and opinions forced on us and our children.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      1950s: "Them blackies got thar rights, they just ought to stay ta home an not force thar beleefs awn us."

      2010s: "Them gays, womenz, an atheeists dun got thar rights, they just ought to stay ta home an not force thar beleefs awn us."

      October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Bassford

      Rick is correct. Planet moron is a gay man or woman who isn't aloud to force everyone to kiss his ring so we all are bad.

      It is a shame people like him or her are aloud to procreate.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rob-Texas

    I don't want to spend another dime there, but do you really think they are ready for a full handoff?

    October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DV

    Unbelieveable! Where is Angelina Joline & Brad Pitt when the world really needs them, and all the other Hollywood and Rock stars??? Bono, where are you? The girls & women of this region can use your help to rescue them!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Are u Serious?

      October 20, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gloria

    If there is no difference why aren't you living in Afghanistan?

    October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. joesmith

    sad, we have always said dogs/cats have more sense than the human population..look, when you from the time of birth, demean, pour out hatred to a young child, you have siccessfully brainwashed another generation..and in the case of the fellow who wanted to blow up the Federal Reserve in N.Y.; this guy was well to do, he came from wealth, but you jnow what..he harboured hatred..enough said..

    October 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • evan

      dogs kill cats

      October 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      My cats are far nicer than any human. I consider them my children but they treat me more like their brother or maybe their waiter. If you raise a couple of them from birth they become closer to you than any person. Plus they will never let you down. They are family.

      October 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LR

    What a wonderful society. Truly moral, and a credit to the entire human race.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Planet Kolob

    Jack, read the bible. God always tells "his chosen people" to butcher and annihilate other tribes (usually they also enslaved the virgin women and girls.)

    October 18, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gabriel

      unfortunately, you have made up your mind about what to say about the bible, even before reading it. How did you get your education? By reading plucking out passages from books at random?

      October 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rob

    I can't believe with all the problems we have here we spend billions of dollars for these lunatics. Let them all kill each other. It's called survival of the fittest. Stop sending our money to these cowardly religious lunatics!

    October 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Planet Kolob

    When Twit Rommel loses, will gays finally get equal rights? Tune in next year for Episode 2 of "Obama tries to clean up the mess left behind by George Dubya."

    October 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
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