Everyone person who has illusions about the still awaited breakout of democracy and freedom in Afghanistan should read the article below. It details the life of a woman called Gulnaz who was raped by her cousin’s husband and became pregnant. Rather than prosecute the man, she was convicted of sex outside of marriage and given a choice: marry your rapist or spend twelve years in jail. She has been serving the sentence with her daughter in jail in this abomination produced by Sharia law. In the meantime, the EU has yielded to demand by the Afghan government that it bar the showing of a movie featuring her story, and other women like her.
She and her daughter sit in Kabul’s Badam Bagh jail — minutes from President Karzai who has done nothing for her and women like her. Indeed, he previously moved against women’s rights to curry favor with Islamic fundamentalists. What is truly depressing is that she is now willing to marry her alleged rapist to get her daughter out of jail.
In the meantime, her alleged rapist is in jail across town and says that she is safer in jail because if she is released, she will inevitably by killed by her own family “out of shame.” He denies raping her.
The prosecutor declined comment, noting chillingly that there are hundreds of such cases and he would have to find the facts on this one case.
Notably, a film was done featuring her case and other cases with support from the EU. Our allies in the Afghan government however have called for the film to be spiked. The Afghan ambassador to the EU insists he is only thinking of the women. The EU relented and spiked the film. An email was later leaked that said “The delegation also has to consider its relations with [Afghan] Justice institutions in connection with the other work that it is doing in the sector.”
So, the film will not be shown. Afghan officials are relieved and Gulnaz and her daughter are serving out the twelve years in jail.
[UPDATE: Late today, it was announced that Gulnaz’ sentence would be reduced to three years but that she still deserved to be jailed with her daughter three years “not for adultery but instead for failing to report a crime quickly enough.”]