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. RKT210

    You are a prime example why liberal idiots are generalized and dismissed as such.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mitt Romney

    This mother is a good person for ending the life of a terrible, liberal, disobedient child.

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

    Good thing Islam is a religion of peace.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wow

    Made me feel sick to my stomach. Hell on earth and thats their religion?

    October 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mitt Romney

    The Republican party respects, condones, and is modeled after the same moral views of the Taliban, or WW2 era Germany.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mitt Romney

    I have binders full of women.

    Anyone want to buy a couple slaves?

    October 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. F. Lee Hall III

    Nice try Romney devotees, no so-called liberal would ever think along these lines. Your dirty tricks just keep coming back to bite you in a place of great honor for the Republician Party.

    October 18, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. babs-chicago

    I cannot believe how backwards Afghanistan is! I mean REALLY BACKWARDS!!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mitt Romney

    Fast and Furious? Is that anything like my relationship with my secret second and third wives?

    October 18, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mitt Romney

    "There will come a day when we will finally make the world 100% white and male, and we shall all be gay together"

    -Book of Romney 5:44

    October 18, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Wow333

    I am a democrat, and you my friend, are an absolute idiot...What did you hope to accomplish by writing this. You are now exactly the same as people who say Barack Osama and other ridiculous, irresponsible nonsense

    October 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. danos

    We are almost into the year 2013. If Afghanistan has not become a civilized nation by now, it's not going to be. Ever.

    The world should just write the place off completely.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Remember when the Ku Klux Klan started letting in catholics because nobody was joining them?

      That's the same strategy the GOP is using now by attempting to convince hispanics and women they aren't interested in taking away their civil rights.

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

      Danos...right on.....But the USA government doesn't mind USA soldiers being killed over there...they have a mindset and won't change.....Look at world history over there ....thousands of years of these Sand turbans butchering each other....Allah must be picking his nose over this crap...

      October 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mitt Romney

    Karl Rove acts a lot like Osama Bin Laden.

    They share mainly the same exact views on gays, abortion, equality, taxes, guns...

    October 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mitt Romney

    I have seven wives, six of which are supermodels from Croatia, but I only show you my hideous, deformed wife so that she can give her sob story about her medical problems, while simultaneously being married to someone who wants folks like her but with less money to suffer and "go to the emergency room if they're sick."

    October 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • HA25

      Where else, David, can this troll get any attention?

      October 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayVMN

      What ever tiny rock you crawled out from under you should return to as you're taking up our valuable air, and I fear I could catch a dose of stupidity from you...

      October 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Saboth

    Hmmm...perhaps the GOP should move to Afghanistan. I think they have similar views on womens' rights. Either that or China...they have the same views on workers' rights and environmental regulation as Republicans.

    October 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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