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. Michael

    No news here, just a bunch of peaceful muslims being muslims.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mitt Romney

    I can think of 47 reasons Romney won't win.

    I can think of 99 reasons Obama will.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      Mom is calling you up for dinner. It's getting cold. Hurry!

      October 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vincent

    LOL ! Hilarious 😀

    But seriously though, you think Palin was beautiful? Yikes!

    I'll take one of those FOX News reporters though. Some of them are quite hot! And i wouldnt mind a sandwich right now.
    Maybe if Romney becomes president and makes Mormonism the religion of the land i can have two? And be the filling in the middle?

    October 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. nx3pde

    Business as usual,according to muslims.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitt Romney

      Or the GOP

      October 18, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mitt Romney

    Obama 2012: Because the alternative is far worse!

    October 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GAW

    Oh boy the guy posting as Mitt Romney has an awful lot of time on his hands. His tin foil hat must have fallen off.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cephas

    Nor do you see Christian "extremists" or Jewish "extremists" beheading their children. But you do see Soviet atheists and National Socialist atheists killing millions of their own people and causing wars that kill millions of people not their own.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Laura

    What about Obama? Who gives billions to the muslim brotherhood who are for sharia law. Under Sharia women have NO rights! Where is human right people? Where are womans right people?

    October 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Godisntreal

      You have proof of this right? $5 bucks you are uneducated, white, and from the south.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. U R No Romney

    Yes, which is why Democrats invaded Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban who were and are the sources of all of the evils you cite.

    Oh, wait, our Democratic President Clinton did NOTHING throughout the 90's, when all of the Taliban's evil was well underway.

    Which president invaded and killed the Taliban wholesale while driving them into the mountain regions? Oh, that's right, it was a Republican.

    So why would a Republican invade a nation and kill those who commit the atrocities you cite, if those things are the Republicans' dream?

    Perhaps, and I'm just thinking here.....but perhaps you've gone blind on your devotion to your failed Socialist Democratic party? Ahhh, notice how clearly you can see when you remove your head from your orifice.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Hey Mitt, (the poster, not the Governor) I get your point, and I'm with you. I really am. But enough already, you're not helping the cause with crazy talk.

    October 18, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      Maybe he's a paid poster trying to stir up emotions and trouble. Got that troll thing going, that's for sure, and s/he's waaaayyyyyy off topic for this thread.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • GAW

      Same here....Someone has a lot of time on their hands.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ken Margo

    Which president let 9/11 happen? A REPUBLICAN
    Which president nearly forced this country into a depression? A REPUBLICAN
    Which president turned a surplus into a deficit? A REPUBLICAN
    Which president attacked a country (Iraq) that had nothing to do with 9/11? A REPUBLICAN
    Please pull your head out of your AZZ

    October 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Thunder Cat

      Which president bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, which president will be the first president to destroy American within, which president supports Jihad, which president hates the Western civilization, which president talks more than what he can do, which president said "yes, we can" but did nothing.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Bush walked hand in hand with the same Saudi slime! What proof do you have Obama will destroy America from within? (Stop watching fox news) If Obama supports jihad, home come we haven't had a successful attack in this country? If Obama hates western civilization why did he save GM, FORD and Chrysler, 3 MAJOR U.S. MANUFACTURERS, Keep the banks form collapsing, keep us out of a depression? So HE DID DO SOMETHING. IF YOU WOULD TAKE THE HOOD OFF YOUR HEAD, MAYBE YOU COULD SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING!

      October 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. U R No Romney

    The day of reckoning approaches....

    October 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. U R No Romney

    You're a troll.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mike

    The posts here are for the most part off topic or moronic or both.

    On point, we are in Afghanistan for what reason? If its to reform the people to love their women and children we have fought and are fighting for nothing. We could not occupy and control this region enough to accomplish that.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken Margo

      Yes, we should withdraw sooner.

      October 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RG

    This is horrible. But how come we only see fat American women whining about equal rights and all.

    October 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
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