A 19-year-old shot by her husband’s family after he claimed she wasn’t a virgin. An 18-year-old was killed with her mother because of suspicion she had had an abortion. And a 17-year-old killed and burned when she tried to escape from a forced marriage. Our Observer in Ghor province, Afghanistan, brings us three stories of honour killings from the last three weeks.
Ghor is a remote mountain province 400 km west of the capital Kabul. The Taliban and other armed groups are active, and state control is weak. It’s also one of the least-developed provinces in Afghanistan: child marriage is common, and “honour killings” – often women trying to flee marriages they were forced into – are frequent.
According to Afghan law, girls must be 16 years old to marry, and boys 18. But our Observer says that in the remote villages of Ghor, the law is seldom respected. The marriage of a 6-year-old girl to a 55-year mullah in the province 2016 provoked international outrage.
“You see how easy it is to kill women here”
Masooma Anwari, a longtime women’s rights activist, is also head of women’s affairs in the province, a position appointed by the central government in Kabul.
About three weeks ago in Shahrak district, a 19-year-old girl called Bibigol was shot by her husband and his family. She was forced to marry a boy her age five years ago; he was 13 at the time, she was 14. Because they were children, they didn’t have sexual intercourse. Then three weeks ago her husband wanted to have sex with her for the first time. He claimed that she wasn’t a virgin. After arguments between the two families, tribal leaders ordered her to be shot. She was executed in cold blood on a hillside.
Initially published on France24 on 04/13/2017
Read the full story here.