This video says about itself:
It was the American General Petraeus’ idea to form a local police force in Afghanistan, a country that is riddled by violence. By funding, training and arming civilians, the Afghans would be able to defend themselves. But is it really such a good idea?
From the New York Times in the USA:
Rape case, in public, cites abuse by armed Afghan groups
By Alissa J. Rubin
New York Times
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 02, 2012
KABUL, Afghanistan >> Lal Bibi is an 18-year-old rape victim who has taken a step rarely seen in Afghanistan: She has spoken out publicly against her tormentors, local militiamen, including several who have been identified as members of the U.S.-trained Afghan Local Police.
She says she was raped because her cousin offended a family linked to a local militia commander, who then had his men abduct her around May 17. She was chained to a wall, sexually assaulted and beaten for five days, she said.
A number of Afghan women who are victimized like Lal Bibi are later killed by their relatives because they believe the women have brought dishonor to the family. Extraordinarily, in this case, Lal Bibi’s relatives brought the battered girl to Kunduz Hospital, near their home in northern Afghanistan, and filed a complaint with the governor. They hoped for official justice even while holding out the possibility that her death might be the only way to restore the family’s honor.
“I am already a dead person,” she said in an interview, her voice breaking.
“If the people in government fail to bring these people to justice I am going to burn myself,” she said. “I don’t want to live with this stigma on my forehead. People will mock me if these men go unpunished, so I want every single one of them to be punished.”
In addition to stretching the bounds of conservative Afghan tradition, her plight is a test of the government’s willingness to challenge the impunity of the many armed groups operating in the country, in particular the Afghan Local Police, which provides security in Afghanistan’s rural expanses. These lightly trained and U.S.-backed security forces are considered by the U.S. military to be one of the best hopes of improving stability in remote areas, even as human rights groups and residents have linked some to abuses, especially in northern Afghanistan.
Like a number of areas in the north, Kunduz province has become a patchwork of armed militias with overlapping territories. In addition to the Afghan Local Police, who are attached to the government through the Interior Ministry, there are many freelance groups, as well as others financed by international forces to guard otherwise unsecured areas. In the past year, both official and unofficial armed groups in Kunduz province have been involved in abuses.
U.S. military officials said that as far as they could determine, members of the Afghan Local Police were not involved in abusing Lal Bibi, saying they hoped that justice would be done in any case. However, a number of the local authorities, including the governor, the military prosecutor for Kunduz, as well as the Afghan Local Police director for the province, said the men who had abducted her and beat her were ALP members.
Because of that government connection, the provincial military prosecutor has decided to take up her case. There were differing accounts of whether the man accused of raping her was a member of the ALP, but all agreed that his brother was a local commander in the force.
“All of the men are part of the first 300 ALP who were trained by the American Special Forces,” said the prosecutor, Gen. Mohammed Sharif Safi. “It is not the first time that they have committed such a horrible crime. All of them are a bunch of illiterate and uneducated bandits and thugs who go around harassing people.”
So far, two people have been arrested in the case, including Khudai Dad, who is accused of raping Lal Bibi, and his brother, Sakhi Dad, who is an Afghan Local Police member, according to the Kunduz governor’s office and the police officer in charge of the province’s ALP force, Col. Mohammed Shokur.
Not yet detained, however, is the chief suspect in Lal Bibi’s abduction, Cmdr. Muhammad Ishaq Nezaami, who disappeared shortly after she was grabbed.
He has a troubled past. He was arrested six months ago on charges of attempted rape in a different case but was cleared, Safi said, adding that he believed that powerful people intervened on Nezaami’s behalf. However, Shokur, the police official, said the charges were dropped in that case because of lack of evidence.
Lal Bibi is the youngest daughter in a Kuchi family, ethnic Pashtuns who are semi-nomadic herders. She and her family live in a tent in the scrub land outside the city of Kunduz and raise sheep for their livelihood.
Her nightmare began when a distant male cousin, Mohammed Issa, an Afghan Local Police member, started a relationship with a local girl. In one account, he tried unsuccessfully to elope with her. In another version, he contracted to marry her and then could not pay the bride price and fled. In either case, he was thought to have dishonored the father, who was furious and sought compensation.
Although Lal Bibi was only a cousin of the offender and in no way connected to the episode, in tribal justice one possible settlement would have been for her family to give Lal Bibi to the wronged girl’s family as payment, a practice known as baadal. But no tribal settlement was reached. Instead, Nezaami, the local ALP leader, came with armed men to her home and grabbed her, according to her and her family’s accounts.
“I was busy milking the sheep with my mother, and suddenly a car pulled up close to our tent,” Lal Bibi said. “They first grabbed my father and tied his hands, and then the armed men grabbed me and my mother from behind, and I didn’t know what happened and why they were there.”
She said that Nezaami’s men threw her into a truck and took her to the home of one of his subcommanders, Sakhi Dad, whose brother was the father of the girl whose honor was seen as compromised by Lal Bibi’s distant cousin.
She told the rest of the story in rushed gasps: She was chained to a wall, she said, and Khudai Dad raped her repeatedly. Other men came in and beat her.
“I would begin to scream every time one of them came into the room, because I knew they were going to beat me or rape me again,” she said.
The experience is written on her body, according to a report by the regional Kunduz Hospital. “The doctors found signs that she was beaten and tortured,” said Dr. Shukur Rahimi, the head of the hospital. And, there was physical evidence consistent with her account of being chained.
An examination confirmed that her hymen had been broken. That can be tantamount to a death sentence in Afghanistan, where women are considered fit to marry only if they are proved to be virgins on their wedding night. Some who fail that test are killed by relatives to restore the family’s honor.
In interviews, both Lal Bibi’s mother and grandfather said they were thinking of killing her unless justice was done, although the fact that they had come forward suggested that they were hoping that the government will prosecute the men and redress the wrongs done to her and her family through the legal system.
The girl’s grandfather, Hajji Rustam, who lives with the family, seemed torn between tribal traditions that require that a tarnished girl be killed and deep feeling for his granddaughter’s distress.
He said: “Put yourself in our shoes: What if somebody raped your daughter? I am sure when you see that no one is helping you to bring the culprits to justice, you will be ready to kill yourself, kill your daughter.”
Then, he looked over at his granddaughter, whom he has been staying with since the rape: “During the day, she sits and doesn’t talk and is silent for hours and suddenly she screams. Her soul has been broken, and she is a very sad person.”
Not all Kabul regime police in Kunduz province are US Special Forces-trained. Some are trained by other NATO countries’ forces, eg, from the Netherlands (who themselves do not always behave spotlessly to women). The police trainees get a really short police training, certainly not centered on helping old ladies cross roads or on arresting pickpockets or rapists, but on shooting. Thus making them in fact, cannon fodder for local warlords.
‘Bye-bye, Miss American Pie’ – then US helicopter appears to fire on Afghans. Video released on internet appears to show US helicopter crew singing before blasting Afghans with a missile: here.
Afghanistan: Misogynistic Hell Hole Made in the U.S.A.: here.
After being kidnapped, raped and tortured by Afghan police, 18-year-old Lal Bibi is fighting police impunity and the cultural requirement that she commit suicide. Prosecutors are failing to try her rapists, but a massive global outcry can persuade the donor countries that are about to hand over billions to Afghanistan to use their leverage to force real change for Lal Bibi and all Afghan women. Sign the petition:
Sign the petition
18 year-old Lal Bibi was kidnapped, raped, tortured and chained to a wall for five days by a gang of powerful Afghan police officers. But she stood up to do what women in Afghanistan are told not to — she is fighting back, and together we can help her and all Afghan women win justice.
According to deep cultural mandates, as a raped woman, Lal Bibi has been “dishonoured” and will kill herself — and she publicly says she must, unless her rapists are brought to justice to restore her honour and dignity. Afghanistan’s justice system routinely fails to pursue these cases and so far the chief suspects in Lal Bibi’s case have not been prosecuted, likely in the hopes that international attention will die down. Every day that passes without an arrest pushes Lal Bibi closer to suicide — but there is hope.
This weekend, the US, UK, Japan and other major donors are expected to pledge 4 billion dollars to Afghanistan — money that will pay for the very police forces responsible for Lal Bibi?s rape. But an international outcry can shame donor countries into action, conditioning their aid on real action to fight rape and protect women. We don’t have much time left — click below for change that could save Lal Bibi?s life and our petition will be delivered right into the donor conference in Tokyo:
Local custom in some parts of Afghanistan dictates that women are shamed by rape and must kill themselves to restore their family’s honour for generations to come. Amazingly, Lal Bibi and her family courageously are seeking to save her life by insisting on the prosecution of her torturers and shifting the blame to the perpetrators, in society’s eyes.
The Afghan police force responsible for the rape depends heavily on foreign funding that will be pledged this weekend, when all of Afghanistan?s major donors gather in Tokyo. Donor countries can and should require that funds are not spent to grow a police force that acts with appalling impunity and that police officers work to protect women, not attack them!
There are hundreds of women and girls all across Afghanistan who are subject to the ?tribal justice? meted out to Lal Bibi. Thousands more are watching carefully to see how the Afghan government and the world will respond to the girl who is fighting back and refuses to die quietly. Let’s stand with her — sign the petition below and tell everyone:
The global war on women is relentless. But time and time again our community joins together to win. We helped stop the illegal stoning of Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran, and fought for justice for rape survivors in Libya, Morocco and Honduras. Let?s show the global power of our community to help win justice for Lal Bibi and millions of women in Afghanistan.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Emma, Alaphia, Ricken, Laura, Antonia and the rest of the Avaaz team
P.S. Avaaz has launched Community Petitions, an exciting new platform where it’s quick and easy to create a campaign on any issue you care strongly about. Start your own by clicking here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?do.ps.lal_bibi
Rape case tests Afghan justice (Radio Free Europe)
Afghan rape case turns focus on local police (New York Times)
Afghanistan expects $4 billion in aid pledges at the July conference (CNBC)
Tokyo Declaration to push donors, Afghanistan to make better use of aid (Reuters)
Afghan government confident about endorsement of its strategic vision in Tokyo (UNAMA)
Sun Jul 08 2012
Video shows killing of Afghan woman accused of adultery
Los Angeles Times
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN Human-rights activists and Western officials expressed horror Sunday at a video showing a young Afghan woman who had been accused of adultery apparently being shot dead in front of a crowd of jeering men in a village only about an hour’s drive from the capital of Kabul.
Authorities in Parwan province, where the NATO force has one of its largest bases, said they believed the images, shot in late June, were authentic, and vowed to pursue those who carried out the killing.
The Taliban movement issued a statement denying responsibility for the woman’s execution. Local offshoots of the Islamist movement often carry out harsh punishments without the specific approval of the group’s leadership council.
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force condemned the apparent killing, the latest in a series of gruesome attacks against Afghan women to be made public in recent months. The footage came to light on the same day that international donors in Tokyo were approving billions of dollars in development aid to Afghanistan — some of it conditional on a commitment to protect women’s rights.
The 120-second video, which was first obtained by Reuters and later distributed via YouTube, shows a woman in a white shawl kneeling in the dirt. Crouching in terror, she could not speak even a word in her own defence. She then crumples after apparently being shot dead at close range by a gunman before a crowd of more than 100 shouting men arrayed on a dusty terraced hillside.
The Parwan provincial governor, Basir Salangi, said it was believed that the incident had taken place on June 23 in the village of Qimchaq, in Shinwari district. He expressed disgust at the events depicted, which were reminiscent of the harsh public punishments that were commonplace when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan before the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.
A provincial spokeswoman, Roshna Khalid, said the victim was a 22-year-old woman named Najiba. She said local police had swiftly reported the incident, and the video was now being treated as evidence.
“With this clip we have, we can identify some of the perpetrators,” she said.
Human-rights activists and women’s groups reacted with dismay, saying the killing was part of a pattern of systematic abuse.
“This is horrible,” said Fawzia Kofi, a female parliamentarian. “There are so many claims of progress on behalf of Afghan women, and then something like this happens, and so close to the capital. If the government is serious about women’s rights, it will take serious action.”
Mohammad Musa Mahmoodi, head of Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission, said during the last three months alone, 58 murders of women had been documented across the country, most of them so-called honour killings, in which a woman is deemed to have disgraced her family by illicit contact with men, even if she is a victim of rape.
“It’s shocking in terms of the situation of women in Afghanistan,” he said. “Women face so much violence.”
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HRW: Women police need own toilets
AFGHANISTAN: Human Rights Watch urged the government today to force police stations to build toilets for female officers to protect them from sexual harassment.
The group said that only a handful of provincial police stations have separate, lockable toilets or changing rooms for women officers, leaving them at risk in areas where some officers have reportedly been raped by male colleagues.