Tortured Afghan child bride recovering

2012-01-12 19:49
Kabul - The Afghan child bride who was tortured in an attempt to force her into prostitution is slowly recovering but is still hardly able to speak, a nurse told AFP during a visit to the girl's bedside on Thursday.

Sahar Gul, 15, who was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out was found last month in the basement of her husband's house in northeast Baghlan province, where she had been locked in a toilet for six months.

"Since the past few days, Gul can walk very slowly, she can eat and talk in a frail voice," said nurse Latifa Mirzad at the Wazir Akbar Khan hospital, as the bruised and battered girl looked on silently.

"She is hardly able to speak of her ordeal but sometimes she says in a weak voice 'my father in-law and mother-in law have beaten me'."

Gul's case was taken directly to President Hamid Karzai by a delegation from the Afghan Women's Network on Wednesday.

"The president assured his full support to strictly punish the perpetrators of the crime against Sahar Gul so that nobody can commit such a crime in the future," said the network's Lema Anwari.

Karzai pledged in a statement after the delegation's visit to take action against the "cowardly" perpetrators of violence against women.

The president said that he always took measures as soon as he heard about cases of violence against women, and would continue to take the issue seriously so that the culprits were brought to justice.

According to figures in an Oxfam report in October, 87% of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission logged 1 026 cases of violence against women in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2 700 cases for the whole of 2010.

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