Saturday, December 03, 2011

Jailed Afghan rape victim freed but 'to marry attacker'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a rape victim who was jailed for adultery, after she apparently agreed to marry her attacker.

An Afghan woman named Gulnaz was raped and sentenced to prison for adultery for 12 years. Her attacker is the man that she is suppose to marry. Gulnaz's lawyer told the BBC she hoped the government would allow Gulnaz the freedom to choose whom to marry.

Gulnaz is serving time in prison for being a victim of rape. She also gave birth to her daughter while she was in prison. There is no justice and freedom for many Afghan women. Gulnaz’s story is an example of one of the many Afghan women who suffers and is still getting denied basic human rights in the country. In the United States, we typically overlook the freedom we have. We have the right to advocate and stand up for those basic human rights. Also, we have the choice to make decisions without interference of the government, and are able to hold the government accountable for depriving human rights.

Human rights groups say hundreds of women in Afghan jails are victims of rape or domestic violence. Half of Afghanistan's women prisoners are inmates for "zina" or moral crimes. The BBC's Bilal Sarwary, in Kabul, says recent cases of violence against women are embarrassing for the Afghan government. Many Afghan women rights activists say there must be an end to the culture of impunity and police must punish all those behind violence against women, he adds.

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