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. Burnzee

    what makes the green grass grow? BLOOD BLOOD BRIGHT RED BLOOD DRILL SGT!!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. paul

    ANIMALS. Pull our troos out now!!!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Why are we supporting Karzai government for so long when this is the result of his government? Karzai government needs to step up to stop such human right abuses if they were to be accepted by common people of Afghanistan. What they are doing up till now doesn’t seem to be any better than Taliban. The drug production which dropped 10 folds during Taliban gov is not back to full swing, women rights are not guaranteed like before, we still see our troops getting hurt for them. How the hell is it any better? Why we even allow Karzai continue his second term when we know he rigged elections? Now his wrong doings will be blamed on us since we supported him to stay in power.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gunther

      Animals dont act like that, so why use the comparison, and btw, whats a troos?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pop

    i know this is a different culture and all, but REALLY?

    October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobby G.


      October 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jocho Johnson

    Should have supported the Soviet modernization of these backward people through the 70s and 80s instead of creating Osama Bin Laden to bring back their freedom to behead and enslave women. Good grief.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • r

      Ummm... the cold war kinda made that impossible.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bowenarrow

      I blame Rambo

      October 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. PJ

    THIS is the World as Akin and Gingrich and Romney and Ryan want it. Show up in Binders, leave in Coffins.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shannon

      Yes, you're right, that's exactly what they want to do. Can you hear the sarcasm genius?

      October 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boris Badinov

      PJ and palintwit....such tolerance from the party that thinks they invented tolerance....what do your comments have to do with the issue?

      Nothing....BTW Ohio and Indiana have more trailer parks and mobile homes than the south..so you better watch out when the northern 'necks vote....duh huh

      October 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. eddie2010

    Peace-loving muslims showing tolerance.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Christians had their crusades and witch burnings. All religions are capable of spectacular ignorance, hatred, and violence.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      Mike, in case you forgot, this is year 2012.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • come on man

      Correction! all people are capable of violence and ignorance....

      October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike L.

      Many people profess to be Christians. But not everyone is a disciple of Jesus Christ.
      Man makes religion.
      One distinguishing characteristic of a follower of Jesus Christ is their love for God the Father and for people.
      The bible says, "If anyone says, "I love God" yet hates his brother, he is a liar, for anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
      The bible says that God is love. Since children act like their Father, those that are truly children of God will be acting like their heavenly Father.
      Don't believe what people say, rather, believe what they do. If a person professes to know and love God but they hate their brother, they are a liar.
      Again, many people people profess to be Christian but not everyone is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Not everyone is a believer.

      October 18, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jack 3

    I have an Idea...lets let that religion establish itself here so we can be like them!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Burnzee

    i love how u pathetic liberals will go to any length to make Gov Romney look bad. comparing this travesty to a binders comment that you know means nothing more than binders full of womens names shows just how sure the left is that obama is done.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      No, but it does show the mindset of GOP warmongers that will get the US in further war if elected.
      You posted at 1:28 what seems to be a post decrying war; I guess I took it wrong.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • U R No Romney


      If you won't go to war to protect women and children who are being brutalized and murdered by the thousands, then what WILL you go to war for? Oh, that's right, you wouldn't go to war for anything, not even if we were invaded and they were on your street.

      October 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pablo

    Nothing more then barbaric animals, and not one American should have died defending them.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • richard

      Amen ! I say again, Amen !

      October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • j

      Amen, these people will never change their beliefs and values; complete waist of time. It's a shame American soldiers lost their lives to this. We should send honey boo boo out there to liberate instead!

      October 22, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. dbw

    When you're at the very bottom, it takes effort to go even lower. The muslim world always makes the effort.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. davecu

    That is so barbaric on so many levels.

    The head is not 'chopped' off but rather cut off with whatever edge may be available.
    It is not quick nor is it painless.

    That this conduct is acceptable disgusts me and thousands of years of "culture" seem
    to have been wasted here.

    Lorena Bobbitt could teach these women about relationships!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tombstone

    Another day in Muslimland.

    October 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      This is a disgusting act of barbarism, and I won't deny that. However, our views of Islam are being greatly skewed by highlighting the horrors that have stemmed from the Middle East. We can't forget that still the majority of Muslims are non-violent, and that these people preforming such horrible acts are far removed from what Islam preaches. It is dangerous to peg all Muslims as "terrorists" or "violent' because it is A. simply not true and B. encourages hatred towards the wider majority of innocent people of the Muslim religion who do not condone these acts of violence.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rickygf

    Why the hell arer we wasting money and American lives for that POS country, they're nothing but low life animals. We could stay there 50 more years and not a damn thing gained, let's just admit we can't win and leave those pigs to do what they've done for centuries, just kill each other

    October 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jan

    Was this article written by a 3rd grader????

    October 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grey

      No, by a CNN affiliate... oops sorry, thats the same thing.

      October 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Any third grader could do better...

      October 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JimAR

    Our soldiers are dying to protect these animals. Bring all U.S. troops home today!

    October 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • mrbanana

      I think u r wrong ?? American soldiers are trying to protect those mistreated young girls but not really so. You dick head !!! dont know anything

      October 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mansoor Ahmad

      Your Soldiers have come here to steal the precious assets of our beloved country and to put a disunity among the muslims in the region. We don't need any foreign soldier in our country. we will fight against them until we get our freedom. And this is the help of Allah (SWT) with Afghan nation that they defeated USSR in previous decades, and Insha Allah now it is time for US to be defeated by them.

      Although US have lost the game, but now they can't leave Afghanistan as it is sham for them across the world.

      Mansoor Ahmad (From Afghanistan)

      October 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      Mansoor Ahmad,

      If your people had not invited terrorists (Al Qaeda) into your country to declare war on US and kill innocent Americans on 911 then none of this would have happened. You claim to be a Muslim but what would almighty God and your prophet Mohammad say about killing innocent people in a foreign land? I think you'll be going to hell, no paradise.
      You are an apostle of evil, not of Allah.

      October 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
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