Child bride tells of 'torture' by in-laws

2011-12-31 17:30

Kabul - An Afghan child bride on Saturday spoke of how she was tortured by her mother-in-law who locked her in a toilet for six months, beat her, pulled out her fingernails and burned her with cigarettes.

Sahar Gul, 15, is recovering in hospital in Kabul, her face bruised and swollen, her skin still bearing the marks of her ordeal, barely able to speak.

Her brother had sold her to her husband about seven months ago for $5 000.

"For several months I was locked up in toilet by my in-laws and particularly my mother-in-law," she managed to tell media in a frail voice during a visit from Afghan health minister Dr Suraya Dalilo.

"I was denied food and water. I was tortured and beaten."

The minister said it was an example of "increased cases of violence against women in Afghanistan".

Women continue to suffer in Afghanistan despite billions of dollars of international aid which has poured into the country during the decade-long war.

Dalilo said Gul was suffering from severe blood loss, with multiple burns and injuries.

"She is also suffering from trauma and psychological problems," she said.

"She is still a child, below the legal age of marriage. She is only 15 and from a remote part of the country. It's a tragic and heartbreaking story for Afghanistan."

The teenager was found in the basement of her husband's house in the northeastern Baghlan province late on Monday.

Her family, from the neighbouring province of Badakhshan, had reported her disappearance to the police after being denied access to the home.

Three women including the girls's mother in-law were arrested over the case but her husband fled.

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.

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

Gul's case comes after a woman known as Gulnaz was pardoned and released earlier in December after spending two years in prison for "moral crimes".

She was jailed after she reported to police that her cousin's husband had raped her. Gulnaz gave birth to the rapist's child in prison.

In November, the United Nations said that a landmark law aiming to protect women against violence in Afghanistan had been used to prosecute just over 100 cases since being enacted two years ago.

  • Jeffrey - 2011-12-31 18:13

    Ah! Another example of the respect shown for females by adherents of the "Religion of Peace".

      Yaseen - 2011-12-31 18:39

      Jeffery most muders and rapes commited on a daily basis in s.a are commited by muslims or christians? Your narrow mindedness urges you to attack a faith instead of the unfaithful...!

      Kim - 2011-12-31 20:49

      @Yaseen what Jeffrey is referring to is the fact that women are raped because of religion. These people do not see women as human beings and it is because of their religion and women will continually be punished for MAN's sexual obsessions because of the sick religion. Read the story, Gul was thrown in prison because a MAN raped her. Just how sick must your mind be to punish a woman because because MAN is screwed up!!!

      Sharkshoot - 2012-01-01 09:22

      Women and young boys are sold by their families to men in Afghanistan. The woman is used to breed while the boy is taught to dance in womens clothing for men at social gatherings. Later on during the evening the boy will go off with one of the men and sodomised. What a heathen Godless lot they are.

      Fawzia - 2012-01-02 17:34

      incidentally jeffery Allah in the Quraan clearly states that women should not be abused but treated with kindness & also they should not be taken against their will & not treated as chattels. J Please do your research on Islaam prior irrational comments & behaviour (like the in- laws of the child who has been abused)The ignorance of the in-laws about the praxis of Islaam precedes them. They need to be rightfully punished for their UNISLAAMIC PRACTICES. Ciao Jeffery

      Rafiq - 2012-01-03 13:46

      Islam is a religion of peace! Muslims r supposed to follow thus religion which will make them the best of humans. It's a pity not all Muslims follow their religion n instead follow their customs. They laugh at Christians following pagan beliefs ( birthdays, Christmas, new years, etc ) but they also do the same by following their culture. Woman r not items that can b sold o like the western culture made into prostitutes in order to get a job. They should b respected n taken care off. We r all equal in the sight of G-d but men hav a responsibility to take care of their woman ( mothers, sisters, wives n daughters ).

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2011-12-31 18:35

    Why is 'torture' in inverted commas? This is a fate worse than death.

      Mike - 2011-12-31 19:20

      Because it's a quotation. (From the victim) Eng. Lang 101

      Garth - 2012-01-01 08:02

      `People who live in glass houses should not throw stones'.

  • Michelle - 2011-12-31 18:45

    Can somebody PLEASE give the bitch of a mother in law to me ... I would absolutely LOVE 5 minutes with her in a sound proof chamber. Afterwards, she can decide if she still wants to dance ...

      Osman - 2011-12-31 20:01

      If only we could do that

      Kim - 2011-12-31 20:58

      I would like to get my hands on the brother who sold her.

  • Hans - 2011-12-31 19:16

    God Almighty says in the Quraan - The gates to Heaven lie at the feet of your mother. Such is the level of respect that God has ordered to be shown to mothers (woman). Just because a handful of ignorant and brainwashed arabs, who follow a fanatical interpretation of Islam does not justify that all Muslims, who indeed follow the religion of Peace, be judged as such. If I may state that the ignorant and brainwashed christians of the renaisance era were also guilty of such crimes and acts which were encouraged by the "Church"... Even today, our prisons are full of rapists and pedophiles who are "christians", but we do not label all christians as such, do we??? (Well except the catholic priests of course)

      Mike - 2011-12-31 19:29

      Sorry Hans, "Christian' is just a response they put on a questionnaire, meaning that they don't regard themselves as Muslim, Hindu or whatever.

      Mike - 2011-12-31 19:31

      BTW "GOD ALMIGHTY " cannot be quoted in the Koran (Quraan) which is not the word of God.

      Rina - 2011-12-31 21:55

      This is what happens when you believe in story books (any faith), written by people like you and me.

      Xenswim1 - 2012-01-01 08:36

      Another point being a knostic whilst in the army I list myself as Christian as this entitled me of base time Sundays.

      PeggySven - 2012-01-01 10:47

      Hans, the Crusades took place during the years 1095-1291. Back then slavery was legal, wars were common place and the laws that we have today were not around. There were so many kings ruling small Kingdoms, that the law was each Kings decree. Today we live in a world that has rejected slavery and has a Universal Deceleration of Human Rights signed by every member of the United Nations. As all Muslim countries have signed that deceleration, the murders, rape and slavery enforced by Islam should be condemned by every citizen of the world. Sadly, the people who practice Islam, defend such cruelty by saying their "Holy Book" allows them to do so. The real problem lies with the fact that the "Holy Koran" is just the teachings of an illiterate man, who was himself a savage of note. Especially when it came to the treatment of women. So bringing up the Crusades to defend the actions of Islam is comparing Apples with Snow.

      Fawzia - 2012-01-02 17:37

      Thanks Hans you have a head on your shoulders.

      Riaad - 2012-01-02 17:51

      O rubbish, Peggy. The second round of the crusades have started long ago against the Muslims. It has begun already, and that's the problem - long before 911 (which the CIA staged themselves anyway) - with the first Gulf War. And this is the whole reason why extremist groups like Boko Haram will continue getting new recruits - the realisation that the Christian USA does not intend leaving the Muslims alone. The US policy of blind "pre-emptive strikes" is anything but Christian. Which murder and rape is enforced by Islam, as you claim? Where did we "defend such cruelty by saying their "Holy Book" allows them to do so", as you claim? What a Christian bigot you are. No wonder, Christians in the West are embracing Islam in large numbers. They see right through your propaganda and have decided to study the Qur'an for themselves and not let biased media reports sway their search for the Truth. Look at your own Old Testament before you attack Islam, eg. Judges chapter 19.

  • Carl - 2011-12-31 21:21

    What a gentle religion....

      Fawzia - 2012-01-02 17:41

      carl cut out the sarcasm , educate yourself about Islaam < to obtain first hand knowledge read the FINAL REVEALTION EHICH IS THE QURAAN.

  • Michael - 2012-01-01 08:38

    Usual pathetic Serfefrican debate. Just vitriol against people who have a different culture or belief system. What an ignorant nation we are!

      Herman - 2012-01-01 10:11

      Michael, this is not about different culture or believe system it is about abuse against a child. There is no justification is nay believe system, culture, religion or anything what so ever that can justify that ever! Everybody would have been just as enraged if it was local white, black, Indian or what ever believe system. We can not ever just let abuse go unchecked irrespective if it is against children, female or male. If you can not understand that then you seriously need to evaluate your moral value system

      Michael - 2012-01-01 13:24

      Ah Herman, you have got it! Then why the hell don't they confine their contributions to the issue, which is, as you say, the abuse of a child. But no,it becomes the usual low level of discussion and further verbal abuse by people who are just plain ignorant about other religious and cultural beliefs. They ought to get out of Blikkiesdorp to travel a little, see the world and learn a bit about other nations and peoples before making their cr@p comments. Herman you are as thick as the rest of them RIP Serfefrica. .

      Herman - 2012-01-01 14:43

      Michael, Sorry you are missing the point here. I am well traveled and know more about the world that what you will ever know. I am more open minded that most people you will ever meet in life. People took a situation and applied the facts of the matter to this news report and that was it is a fact that happened in a nation where a specific believe system is in place and millions of people commit atrocious acts against woman and children in the name of their believe system. Then you can not call people thick because it is facts. An then you can call most of the world thick because even the international human rights commission is acting on this. Insults just show your level of maturity.

      Michael - 2012-01-01 18:56

      Herman dear if only you could make a point for me to miss! If you do travel the world, then the next time make the effort to open your eyes and understand the differences in culture and some of the finer points others have to offer. Then you might not rush to the defence of some of the obscene comments that regularly appear on this site.

  • Lettie - 2012-01-01 10:13

    15 year old girl, sold by her brother for money? Afghan man need to be educated about human right.

      Garth - 2012-01-01 13:22

      Mary! Why I do declare, you be one confused bundle of thoughts, there girl. `Nowhere in the article does it pertinently say the characters involved are Muslim . . .' and: `Frankly, this story reeks of anti-Muslim propaganda and boy, does it work!' Are there two Mary's inside your head?

      Michael - 2012-01-01 13:30

      In Afghanistan the age old practice ,right or wrong, of a family getting a 'bride-price' still exists in rural areas, as it does in our own country (lobola) and in many other rural societies. But just to inflame, the writer has chosen to characterize this as "selling' a person. Afghanistan has passed legislation against child marriage, but it is very difficult to enforce in remote areas where it still takes place.

      Riaad - 2012-01-02 17:22

      Michael and Garth - finally, the voice of bloody reason! To the others (who give a crap about the truth): 1- notice that no Muslim condones these acts 2- the Afghan government condemned and criminalised these acts 3- no other Muslim country condones these acts 4- the Qur'an strongly condemns these acts It's just like blatant Islamophobes to use a random report like this, to run down Islam and the Muslims.

      austinsama - 2012-01-06 08:51

      Face the truth michael, The 15yr old kid was sold for money by her stupid and selfish socalled brother. If it was lobola, why then would the mother-in law lock her in the toilet for months.THAT'S PURE SLAVERY AND ABUSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

  • Gail - 2012-01-01 11:10

    Centuries ago marriages were arranged by families in order to consolidate wealth and power. Neither the male or female child were consulted in this arrangement and it was not considered paedophilia to marry a young girl of 9 or 10 to a man over 60 by either the mother or the father of the girl. We now live in the 21st century and this custom still persists in certain areas amongt people of different beliefs. In some African customs when a man marries and is unable to father children a male relative like a father is expected to impregnate the woman regardless of how she may feel about it. It's a damn side cheaper than IVF or GIFT which is definitely not part of any sciptural works unless you count the Virgin Mary and the birth of Jesus. In every case the bottom line is that the rights of the female are violated and not taken into account. Women are still seen as possessions by men to do with as they please all over the world despite our "faith" and civilisation. Every culture has to answer for this despite the fact that we have supposedly come a long way towards equality. Men cannot exist without their own particular form of sexual release. They see their role as their right and in fact their raison'd'etre to procreate and walk away. Only the Seahorse male actually raises its young itself. This is a tragic story but it is relatively common worldwide but particularly in places like Afghanistan and India where once the marriage is concluded the bride may not return to her parent

      emile.eley - 2012-01-01 11:44

      And here I am believeing all is perfect in an islamic society. Absolutely shattered, NOT!

      Riaad - 2012-01-02 17:36

      @Emile Sarcastic aren't we? It's not as if all's well in Christendom either. And we never claimed that Muslims society is perfect, by the way. The problem in the Muslim world today is the LACK of authentic Islamic practice. Culture too often takes precedence over what God has revealed.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-01-01 14:09

    Religion is the cancer of humanity. The things man will do in the name of religion makes them all fools. Foolish every single religious zealot, and maybe they deserve what the sow, eat what they reap. One day mankind will look back and say how backward humanity was, the same as we look back and wonder about lost, debunked civilizations of the past. The reality is that mankind can live without these religious fanatics, and one day we will. There was a time before Islam, Christianity and all these other religious hocus-pocus non-sense and there will come a time when mankind will look back and regard religion as primitive. Beg your pardon, it seems that humanity has arrived at that point already. It is clear that more and more rational people are realizing that the world will be a better place without this constant hatred and psychotic fear that organized religion continuously fuels. It will be better for the future of mankind to loose the bondages of religion, and hopefully by the end of this century religion will be banned outright. This centuries most important revolution will see mankind sideline organized religion as a practice equal to cannibalism. The indoctrination of children by parents into organized religion is nothing more than a form of child abuse. It is a matter of time before children sue parents for the psychological damage caused through religion, as the younger generations realize that organized religion is in actual fact a form of human slavery.

      Riaad - 2012-01-02 17:32

      And then there will come a time when you, Glen, will look back upon your life and WISH that you had believed ...

  • neil.vdbijl - 2012-01-02 09:08

    Sick people!!

  • sandre.viviers - 2012-01-02 15:13

    FORGET ABOUT RELIGION !!!! DO WE AS HUMANS HATE EACH OTHER THAT MUCH. How can you inflict such pain on any living creature. Have we become animals. Only God alone can help us because we are monsters !!!!!

  • Mabs - 2012-01-02 16:39

    I cannot believe this is condoned by Allah.

      Riaad - 2012-01-02 17:30

      You're right it is not, Mabs! Prostitution and fornication are condemned in the Qur'an.

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