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. yolanda

    @Blah blah, judging by the (lack of) maturity expressed in your comments, it appears school let out earlytoday, and you know how to use mommy's computer......

    October 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Confused

    What I can't understand is what kind of a GOD/ALLAH can these killers possibly believe in? What has Islam got to say about what this young woman suffered? I assume the killers are not Chritians, I could be wrong, of course!

    October 18, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Tell that to all the people dead because christian fundamentalists bombed or shot them.

      They even kill other christians- what a violent cult of extremists they are.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. stephen

    kolob? isn't that the third stop off the blue line? i hear there's a great burger joint there…

    October 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Planet Kolob is the Mormon planet at the center of the universe/galaxy according to Joseph Smith and his contemporaries.

      And remember when you die you will be re-baptized whether or not you want to, as a mormon, so they can enslave you to Elohim for eternity. If you're male you do menial labor. If you're female, they molest you eternally and you pop out demon babies.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Planet Kolob

    The GOP is a lot like the Taliban.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Planet Kolob

    This woman could have been a GOP welfare mammy from Alabama.

    How about all you red state evangelicals with seven or eight kids take some personal responsibility and stop putting your kids on the street to go suck for crack when they're 18?

    Friggin welfare mooches.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Michael, tell that to the trailers full of rednecks in Alabammy and Missehsippeh and Awrkansawrs and Tey-ackses and the other red states, where deeply religious (and deeply disturbed) fundamentalists who refuse abortion and contraception magically get pregnant every year by their brother every year or two and end up with 14 kids.

      Want to know the main cause of welfare? Fundamentalists who breed like rabbits. I suppose if I was a drunken Alabamian who married my 10 year old cousin I'd want welfare too.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Headphones

      What's wrong in banging your cousin? 😛

      October 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Planet Kolob

    The Republicans are indistinguishable from the Taliban.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Planet Kolob

    The Afghani evangelical islamofascists are identical to the tea party.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Planet Kolob

    Republican logic:

    Islamic fundamentalism? BAD

    Christian fundamentalism? GOOD!!!

    Why? Because christian fundies donate millions of dollars a year to the GOP in order to control them- they all bow before the god of the dollar.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Clear and Present Thinker

    Taliban "family values" at work.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jesse Pinkman

    Muslims are barbarians. Islam is evil...

    October 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Headphones

      Ironically this "evil" mandates all muslims to respect Christianity and most of all give respect to Jesus Christ.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nelly

    More evidence that if there is a God, he or she could not care less about us Earthlings. Also, evidence that we should have never aided is stopping the Russians from taking over this land.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Headphones

      You didn't aid the russians to "Help" Afghanistan. It was a plot to Break apart the Soviet Union. It worked for the most part.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Anti_Jihad


    October 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ericgoestoholland


    October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anti_Jihad

    This is what Mohammed forced Aisha to do. She complied. Or else, she would have been beheaded.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      True, and it's virtually the same with most Catholic priests.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Edwin

      The groups that run amok in Afghanistan are not actually Islamic. Try to educate yourself before insulting a group of people.

      Yes, some are muslim. And many are not. And the problems occur in all parts of Afghani society, not in one particular group.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Everyone in Pakistan is Muslim. There are no other religions in Pakistan or Afghanistan - Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan have murdered almost all minorities. That is why you see purest form of Islam being practiced there.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RealGlaird

    Ah, yet another opportunity for this President to apologize to sociopathic lunatics, for us being Americans.

    October 18, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Kolob

      Ah, yet another opportunity for Romney to show he agrees in spirit with most of the Taliban's views.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Like anyone, least of all the POTUS, would apologize for such a disgusting act. Ridiculous, as are the fake "apology tour" "lead from behind" talking points. It's moronic to even repeat them. Stay classy.

      October 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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