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The Killid Group
Rape victim's aunt wounded by husbandWritten by Sanaullah Temory
Saturday, 11 June 2011 11:19
Injustice was visited upon injustice when the aunt of the 12-yearl old girl from the Takhar province who was raped in her home, was herself attacked by her husband for bringing the case to the attention of the public through the media. Latifa, the aunt of the 12-year old girl who was raped in Qulburs village in Taluqan city, was wounded in an axe attack by her husband Sharif, who accused her of immoral behavior for having spoken to the media.
According to neighbours interviewed by Killid, they were first alerted to the incident due to the shouts of the woman in the vicinity who called for help. As the neighbours, including an eye-wtiness Abdul Sabir ran towards the house, they saw Sharif escaping. Though they gave chase they lost him the fields and he has been absconding since then. "When I went into the house of Sharif house, I saw Latifa lying on the floor bleeding. We immediately took her to a clinic".
Though Sharif is absconding, Killid was able to establish telephonic contact with him and during the conversation Sharif admitted to the crime and also justified his attack. He claimed that he has attacked his wife because of her moral corruption, which, he said, was enough reason for him to kill her. Sharif claimed that he had carried out the punishment under Sharia law.
The incident highlights the difficulty of establishing rule of law as well as strengthening the rights of Afghan women including such basic rights are the right to life and liberty. Though Sharia law is applicable in Afghanistan under the country's 2004 Constitution, Sharia requires a due process before a judiciary with evidence presented for the crime. It is only after the evaluation of the evidence that a Sharia court would pass sentence, which, on occasion, allows a wronged party to carry out the sentence. In Afghanistan however, there is widespread practice of customary laws, with 'sentences' being carried out at the level of the family or community, often without any due judicial process. According to analysts Afghans also often confuse customary laws with the Sharia law, and many, even in the traditional judiciary are not aware of the difference. Women's rights can be extremely restrictive within certain conservative communities in Afghanistan and many consider it improper for a woman to have any communication with a male who is not a near relative and may consider the honour of the family violated by such conduct.
The rape case of the 12 year old girl became very public with himan rights organsiations judicial and criminal branches pledging that they would pursue justice. However while there has bene no progress in the rape case, the victim's family has seen another tragedy.
There was no trace of Latifa who had initially been taken to the provincial hospital in Takhar and it was unclear whether she would survive her grievous wounds. Hospital officials said that Latifa was in critical condition and it was not possible for her to be treated there.
Meanwhile, security officials in Takhar province have confirmed the incident and said that they would follow up the case of this criminal person. Abdul Salam Ahmadi, Deputy Chief of Police in Takhar, said: "Police is making efforts to arrest Sharif, but they have not succeeded yet". He added that perpetrators of sexual harassment of 12 year old girl are also under prosecution, but have not been arrested.
Latifa's sister Zahra, who is the mother of the 12-year old girl who was raped, said her sister's interviews to the media led to the murderous attack on her. She said that talking to the media had not helped in pursuing the case of rape of her young daughter, but had, instead, led to the attack on her sister. Zahra said there was no sympathy for the family which now regretted talking to the media. Zahra said she was now concerned about her own safety and the safety of other members of the family.