Afghan girl’s torturers get 10 years jail

Filed on May 5, 2012

The case of a tortured Afghan child bride whose treatment shocked the world has led to three members of her husbandís family being jailed for 10 years, an official said Saturday.

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

‘The court sentenced her father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law each to 10 years in prison on Tuesday,’ Afghanistan’s supreme court spokesman Abdul Wakil Omari told AFP.

A rights group, Women for Afghan Women which helped Gul in the court case, said it was not satisfied with the sentence.

‘We are not happy with the sentence, we are going to help her appeal,’ programme manager Huma Safi told AFP.

‘How can someone get only 10 years in prison for torturing a girl to almost death,’ she said.

Gul, whose case attracted widespread attention in Afghanistan and abroad, attended the court session in Kabul.

‘When she first entered the court and saw her in-laws, she was afraid and shaking, but later she calmed down and asked for death penalty for her in-laws,’ Safi said.

Gul’s husband and her brother in-law, also allegedly involved in torturing her, are still at large.

Violence and abuse against women continues to be a major problem in Afghanistan a decade after US-led troops brought down the notorious Taleban regime.

According to figures by British charity organisation Oxfam, 87 percent 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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