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. Travister Collins

    Hippocrisy!!! Same thing happens in USA on a different level but all that is legal and govt. get taxes from them...Funny people commenting on others...wow.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brenda

    These countries act like the west is so morally corrupt and then they turn around and do something like this as part of their normal everyday life. Anyone care to comment?

    October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BOMBO ©

    Can't blame the Taliban for this one.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • guesswho22

      No, but you can blame Islam. Its a religion of evil people in an evil part of the world. Nuke them, nuke them all...

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

      GET US OUT OF THERE! In a thousand years these folks will still be animals.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TheRealStory

    CNN: A Leader in Propoganda

    October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • You can't handle the truth

      Blow it out of your tail, pal.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • MMiller

      I'm sure you must have gotten that from Fox News, a part of Rupert Murdoch's global propaganda empire, right?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • guesswho22

      The number one network on cable is the Fox News Propagand Network. Everyone knows this to be the truth... get real

      October 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • MMiller

      A real friendly, open minded, if uneducated, kind of chap aren't you.

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

    SICK, SICK, SICK MF'ers!

    October 18, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. freelance

    I don't see a difference between them and our own Tea Party Patriots

    October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • golfballtx

      I'm sure you wouldn't, troll

      October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prolifer

      Wow... typical liberal pedophile.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abe

      Your an idiot.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ironhand75

      That's because you are a moron.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • russ

      hey, don't insult the afghans like that

      October 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Smith

      You're a complete idiot.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • guesswho22

      You're absolutely correct. The neo-cons know as T-Baggers are the American Taliban. They want charter schools so they can have these corporations who report to no one teach creationsim vice science and truth. We must stop this transition from happening dead in its tracks... get my drift?

      October 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Get back to your campaign Obama.

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

    So why do we even bother with this idiots! They have never gotten out of the dark ages!

    October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • You can't handle the truth

      Just a small point of fact... Europe had the "dark Ages" – thanks to religious zealots, in this case they were Christian Catholics. One could argue that Afghanistan today is what it was like during the European Dark Ages, thanks to Wahhabi Muslims.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lukos58

      To "You can't handle the truth": A SMALL point of fact indeed. The Dark Ages were dark because of the loss of knowledge gathered by the ancient Roman, Greek, Babylonian, Persian, etc., empires after being overrun by barbarians who could care less what they destroyed or religion was practiced. Implying it was due to the Catholic Church is ingenuous at best. Even an athiest like myself can recognize the Catholic Church was pretty much the main reason we have any idea what went on during those times. If you wanted to read, write and do basic math, odds are it was taught by someone from the church. The Dark Ages would've been worse without the Catholic Church, at least from a knowledge standpoint. Now, the secrets they have covered up for millenia is something else entirely.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike L.

      Many people profess to be Christians. But not everyone is a disciple of Jesus Christ.
      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 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lol

    Hmmm, this sounds like the kinda place I would want to visit if I was a naive and obtuse 20-something year old Hipstir. Do you think they have hiking trials, coffee houses and Apple stores there? I bet they would love it if I blessed their backwards little country with my awesome western presence. I could show them all my iphone and bangin twitter knowledge and change them for the better. I'm sorry; #4thebetter.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    They did not say whether she died or not. I really hope she makes it.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • guesswho22

      don't worry, your sister will be fine... just pray

      October 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. golfballtx

    Why do we have anything to do with a society of "animals" like this? Let the Taliban have 'em. Let them live the way they have for 5000 years. Completely isolate them from the rest of our species and get them out of the gene pool. Nobody in and nobody out. If you are unlucky enough to have been born there, either live with it or change it from within. Untill them, Hasta La Vista!

    October 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BigMamaM

    I am completely saddened by this. Women & girls should have equality to men. To know this is an every day thing like it's not a big deal is extremely disturbing. As an American, I won't be taking advantage of my rights.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. russ

    muslim apologists, please step forward

    October 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich in TX

      It's Israel's fault.

      October 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Scott

    The (GAG) "Religion of Peace" is at it once again.


    October 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. VicM

    There's nothing the western world can do to turn these cavemen and women around. Being capable of such an act is a horrible thing but it's the general population that is unconcerned and uncaring about such depravity. It's a culture of violence. One young lady being beheaded means nothing to them. Like when a gazelle is taken by a lion. Life just goes on as it has for centuries.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • guesswho22

      Nuke them, nuke the all...

      October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lou

    As sick as this is it is not the responsibility of the US to force our values on anyone. This must be dealt with by Afghanistan.

    October 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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