Rape legal in Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Former Afghani Parliamentarian Reveals Impact of US Occupation – MALALAI JOYA

4 Nov 2013

SAN DIEGO | After being passed up for the Nobel Prize and four assassination attempts former Afghani Parliamentarian MALALAI JOYA has made her way to the San Diego to tell of the true impact of the US war in Afghanistan. She appears exclusively on the Next News Network.

Twelve years after the invasion of Afghanistan by U.S. forces, that country continues to suffer through horrific violence. The Taliban has been removed from power, but in its place is a government many consider to be too anxious to continue the war.

In a country where many people consider women to be second-class citizens, a few brave activists are beginning to step forward. Many of these women become victims of repeated assassination attempts. Religious extremists determined to stop them from speaking out include the Taliban, which holds a significant military presence in the nation.

Those who also dare to speak out against their government and the U.S. occupation also face opposition from the government of Hamid Karzai.

Malalai Joya was named one of Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential people in 2010. Raised in the refugee camps of Afghanistan and Iran, Joya rose to become one of the youngest members of the Afghan Parliament. She taught in secret schools for girls, and helped establish a free medical clinic.

Joya stood up against what she called a parliament of warlords, and was forced from office in 2007.

The young activist has a new book about her experiences, called “A Woman Among Warlords.” Joya has now survived four assassination attempts.

Malalai Joya is out guest on the show today. She is here to talk to us about her experiences as a female activist in Afghanistan. We will also talk about the effects of the American occupation on the ordinary people of that nation, as well as the future of Afghanistan.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

A law that would permit Afghan men to hurt and rape female relatives

President Karzai is about to ratify a law that would prevent relatives testifying against men accused of domestic violence

Manizha Naderi

Thursday 6 February 2014 10.11 GMT

It is hard sometimes to describe the enormous efforts taken by the Afghan political elite and conservative lawmakers to roll back hard won progress on women’s rights in Afghanistan. Here we have yet another frightening example: a new law, passed by both houses of the Afghan parliament and waiting for President Hamid Karzai’s ratification, would prohibit the questioning of relatives of an accused perpetrator of a crime, effectively eliminating victim testimony in cases of domestic violence.

In article 26 of the proposed change in the criminal prosecution code, those prohibited from testifying would include: husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and descendants of those relatives up to the second generation. Doctors and psychiatrists would also be banned from giving evidence.

This proposed law is particularly troubling in a country where violence against women is endemic and, most commonly, is at the hands of a relative. In a 2008 study, Global Rights found that 87% of Afghan women will experience some form of violence in their lifetime; 62% experience multiple forms of violence, including forced marriage and sexual violence.

Women for Afghan Women (WAW) can attest to these findings. Over 90% of the nearly 10,000 women and girls we have served since 2007 have been victims of domestic violence. Our clients have been raped, sold, beaten, starved and mutilated – primarily at the hands of a family member, or in some cases, multiple family members.

Should Karzai sign this law into effect, justice for these women would be virtually impossible. Not only would they be barred from testifying against family members who committed crimes against them, any family member who witnessed the crime would be barred as well.

Under the proposals, WAW clients, such as 15-year-old Sahar Gul who was kept in a basement and tortured by her in-laws, would have been robbed, not only of justice, but of the opportunity to reclaim her power and testify against her tormentors. Furthermore, the doctors who treated her bloodied, malnourished, and burned body would also be barred from testifying. Sahar Gul’s in-laws are serving a five-year prison sentence for torturing her. Had the new measure been law in 2012, her in-laws would likely be free to torture and abuse more women.

Other clients, such as 16-year-old Naziba who was raped by her father, would be left with no other option but to live with the abuse. At Naziba’s rape trial, her mother and uncles courageously testified against her father, and he is now serving a 12-year prison sentence. If Naziba’s relatives had been barred from testifying on her behalf, Naziba’s father might still be raping her today.

The timing of this proposed change to the law is important: a recent report by UN Women found that reported cases of violence against women was up 28% in the past year. This finding is significant because it illustrates that Afghan women are beginning to understand their rights and demand access to them.

Since 2007, our organisation has worked hard to build coalitions with local police departments, government ministries and court officials. As a result of our advocacy, these agencies are referring more and more victims to our services, instead of sending them back home or imprisoning them for running away. In some provinces, such as Kabul, the police are our biggest ally – they refer more women than any other agency. This gives us hope, illustrating that there has been a shift in attitude and perception about violence against women, not only among Afghan women, but at an institutional level as well.

However, should Karzai ratify this law, I fear that women would stop coming forward because prosecutions would be nearly impossible to secure. As an organisation that has been working tirelessly to obtain justice for women and girls who have suffered so much and so needlessly, our hands would be tied. There would be little we could do.

We, along with other human rights activists, refuse to stand back and allow this to happen. The stakes are too high and the consequences too horrific to imagine.

A US federal agency that sought to pay photographers for “positive images” of its work in Afghanistan has canceled the program. The project, created to combat negative news coverage, collapsed amid charges that the effort amounted to propaganda: here.

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7 thoughts on “Rape legal in Bush’s ‘new’ Afghanistan?

  1. Pingback: Afghan women “worse” off than under Taliban | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Marital rape legal in Bahrain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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