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. Pnm9pnm

    You are trying to make the gov. An cops look bad jihads u no becusse you do not like what's rite the USA do u ya.wright.pnm.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      blib blab bloop?

      October 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. George Patton

    Different kind of honor killing.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Planet Kolob

    Hey Pakistani troll – you are posting under the alias "Mitt Romney". It does not matter which candidate wins. Both are committed to reducing the Pakistani aid and will use the savings to root out terrorism in Pakistan by beefing up the drones program. Either way, your Pakistani days of living on food stamps while supporting beheadings are numbered.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 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 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Reload

    Ah, these are the peace-loving Muslims that Obama has been telling us about. By all means, let's negotiate with them.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Obama has killed more muslim extremists than Bush did- are you sure he's apologetic towards them?

      Oh wait- Romney is the one with Chinese ties- and which nation in the UN is it that always helps block our sanctions on Iran, Syria, etc?

      Oh, China? Yeah I'm sure Romney will do a GREAT job!

      October 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Let get real. There are plenty of "G-od fearing" people in the good ol US of A that kill. Thousands of people die every year from gun violence, yet we cant pass reasonable gun control in this country.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ken Margo

    What poll shows Romney leading?

    October 18, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mitt Romney

    I am not a Pakistani, I am an American.

    A proud American who works and takes no handouts yet... magically... hates Romney!

    And Pakistan can turn into a toilet for all I care (well it already is basically.)

    October 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mitt Romney

    Ken, one poll showed him 6 points ahead (Gallup today)

    The number isn't accurate at all- the others show Obama with 1 or 2 points, or a tie, but FOX made sure to use that single poll all day so their viewers wouldn't be too upset.

    I can't wait to see Romney backslide after his debate comments.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. asyouaskforit

    Killing of gays, why are you not dead yet.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Craig

    Mitt Romney: OK, you had your 15 minutes of fame...now go back to your cave from whence you came.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ken Margo

    WOW Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mitt Romney

    Craig if you knew who I really was you'd be talking about my "three years of fame."

    But you don't know who I am, so you will remain blissfully ignorant thinking I am a keyboard warrior/troll.


    October 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cyclopes

    It’s sad to see that all of you can only talk trash about politics. If you think that either candidate will care about this country or America you wrong!
    I'm working in Afghanistan and I see the low life’s here every day and wish we could really help but it would take a century.
    Last week we watched a group of grown men throwing baseball sized rocks at four little girls on their way to school, they were maybe 10 to 12 years of age. (How would your like your daughter to have to go through that?)
    So keep up with the Political jokes on stories of strife and death of the innocent, your just showing that you should be over here throwing rocks too! (Ignorance is bliss and runs ramped in America)

    October 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      If you want to help them, GO FOR IT. Until they decide to help themselves, NOBODY can help them. Frankly what do you want us to do about it? That is their culture. that is the way they do things. If we try to help we are accused of trying to force our beliefs on them. In a perfect situation. They would stay over there and we would stay over here.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Vincent

    Hmm .... amusing 😀
    Also disturbingly has a slight ring of truth to it :S

    October 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mitt Romney

    The last debate consisted of Obama attacking Romney, and Romney attacking himself, it was like watching a cerebrally challenged lap dog try to tackle a 250 pound gladiator.

    I can't wait to see him lose all the gains he made in the last 2 weeks.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cephas

      You're going to be waiting quite a while.

      October 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      Too much time on your hands. You must have OCD

      October 18, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
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