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. bainiac

    I feel deep shame for our species when I read things like this.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. unowhoitsme

    Total barbarians...sick people. They think with their weapons and not with their minds.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • saywaaat

      read your local paper and see who is the real barbarian.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. GimmeABreak

    Funny... not one mention of the words "Muslim" or "Islam". This is Political Correctness at its best. Must just be everyday Afghans going about life as usual ?

    October 19, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • kl;qsdjhsdklfjsffjklqsdgfqsk

      yes,yes, yes, where are the words ID the peaceful, "religion", what I don't get is this, why do you need 72 virgins in their "heaven" if it ia an eternal existance, no need to pro-create?????

      these people are deceived, sad and pitiful for the women in "islam". one more thing, black people in this country should study the history of muslims in Africa who were greatly involved in enslaving millions and selling millions into slavery, especially during the time range of 1600 through 1800, check it out, then let me here from the black muslims.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Evenstar13

    Terrible, absolutly terrible! I simply can not subscribe to the notion that Islam is a religion of peace, not when instances such as this horrible act continually occur! God created woman to complete man, to be his companion, his helper, not to be his property, his chattel! I pray God keep this woman close to him and that his justified wrath fall upon these two miscreants quickly!

    October 19, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. AKA

    Mommy Dearest

    October 19, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. cannuck

    to think 158 Canadian soldiers lost their lives for this? Time to go and never come back

    October 19, 2012 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Taskmaster

    Islam at it's finest.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. zainab

    At least this poor woman wasn't degraded by having to do that. Her killers should rot. Not all Afghans are monsters, but they do a great job of making it look that way...

    October 19, 2012 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. KYGal

    What's most disturbing to me is that this crime was perpetrated by women against a woman! How can there ever be positive change and an end to these atrocities if, the very group that's being abused and victimized, abuse and victimize each other?

    October 19, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. BOB


    October 19, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. vance odonnell

    remind me again why we are thinking we can change things there

    October 19, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. blongj1

    Islam is a religion of peace, and this article is highly offensive. The author should be beheaded.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. watash60

    Liberals need to take their blinders off and see these people for what they really are

    October 19, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      "watash60 said: Liberals need to take their blinders off and see these people for what they really are"

      Which liberals do not see these people as they really are? What is your point? It was your conservative man, George Bush who committed us to "nation build" in Afghanistan instead of just going in, killing as many terrorists as we could find within a few months and then leaving. You conservatives need to focus on America first and the middle east second. Also you need to learn a little about history....ie. who got us into Afghanistan, instead of the absurd "kill all muslims" rallying cry that you promote.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Edward

      You simply cannot be more liberal than I am. I had dinner in the home of Hubert Humphrey. My father was a big union leader. I moved to Canada because it is more liberal than the states. Yet, I recognize Islam for what it is.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Times a wasting

      I try to be understanding of different cultures but these people....f'n animals. What are we doing there?!?

      October 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • John G.

      Both liberals and conservatives have put us and kept us over there. There is enough blame to go around in both parties.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      what does being a Liberal have to do with Barbarions cutting the head off of an innocent women?
      second question...why do we continue to give tax payer's money to these animals....build a fence around the whole country and keep them in like the animals they are.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • bitphr3ak

      "Liberals need to take their blinders off and see these people for what they really are"

      Who are the liberals you are talking about? I have some liberal position and some conservative ones....

      Who are 'these people'? Are all 'these people' beheading women?

      I could see a number of bad police officers attacking and in some case killing people who are not deserving of such attacks, but I don't pull out my stereotype brush and paint all police with the same generalized stereotype of being a 'bad cop'.

      Maybe you need to take off your blinders?

      There are fundamentalists, fanatics, and criminals everywhere

      October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      You and people like you have a seriously skewed vision of what it means to be a "liberal". I fault your intelligence capability and it surprises me that you are able to type. Perhaps you should learn what "being a liberal" really means. Start by looking up the word "Liberal" as you probably don't even understand the meaning of the word.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      If you made a line with libs on the left and cons on the right you would be plotted "these people" than liberals would be.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • kite005

      you would be plotted much closer to "these people",,,,,I meant

      October 19, 2012 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • jamie rowe

      Ahhh, the two party system in the United Sates makes people smarter and better at articulating arguments....

      You all sound like school children as soon as you generalize a massive group of people as 'Liberal' or 'conservative' and then proceed to blame their 'liberalism' / 'conservatism' for anything.

      Maybe think and make an actual point. "Blah blah blah bleeding heart libral this, blah blah blah righty bible thumper that..."
      seriously , just say this next time. it makes more sense and is an exact equivalent.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • jamie rowe

      lol 'Sates'.... you know what I mean, didn't proof read. cricitising spllenig on the inrtenet is rednudnant.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  14. saywaaat

    condemning all afghans for what two people have done is just idiotic. how many crimes are committed in the US daily??? many are worse or as bad as this case. remember the 10 year girl from Colorado who was dismembered just about a week or so ago??? read your local paper and if you see no crimes then open your pie holes and talk.

    October 19, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      I agree. But the same thing happens in the middle east too. Recently, all Americans were smeared and targeted because one Egyptian-American produced a video that angered devout muslims. They burned our flag and claimed this could not happen without Obama's approval.

      I think there is plenty of ignorance all around the world.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • ROMNEY2012

      The difference is we are the chosen people of GOD and they are filthy animals and deserve no more than a violent death for their sins.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • John G.

      @ROMNEY2010, people like you scare me. Hitler said the same thing about the jews.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      This is just another day for them and they condone it.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Hi There

      ROMNEY2012 is clearly a troll, trying to smear conservatives with such an ignorant statement.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nathan

    Bring the women to the states; educate them; give them good paying jobs; so they dont need a man; just like the american women today!!

    October 19, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Good paying jobs Nathan? Doing what? Working a McDonalds? I think you meant to say "send them to India or China".

      That's where our good jobs went. Where have you been living, under a rock?

      October 19, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      @tom: If you think the good jobs are in China you are mistaken. Think Foxxconn, good jobs... ha !

      October 19, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Right, so they wont have children and a family and the white race keeps declining while this filth is multiplying like gang busters!

      October 19, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
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