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Afghan woman is killed 'for giving birth to a girl'

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  • Chris & Christine
    30 January 2012 Last updated at 07:13 ET Afghan woman is killed for giving birth to a girl By Bilal Sarwary BBC News, Kabul  Wali Hazrata is in police
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 30 3:14 PM
      30 January 2012 Last updated at 07:13 ET

      Afghan woman is killed 'for giving birth to a girl'

      By Bilal Sarwary BBC News, Kabul

       
      Wali Hazrata is in police custody. She has made no public comment about the allegations.

      A woman in north-eastern Afghanistan has been arrested for allegedly strangling her daughter-in-law for giving birth to a third daughter.

      The murdered woman's husband, a member of a local militia, is also suspected of involvement but he has since fled.

      The murder took place two days ago in Kunduz province. The baby girl, who is now two months old, was not hurt.

      The birth of a boy is usually a cause for celebration in Afghanistan but girls are generally seen as a burden.

      Some women in Afghanistan are abused if they fail to give birth to boys. And this is just the latest in a series of high-profile crimes against women in the country.

      Late last year a horrifying video emerged of the injuries suffered by a 15-year-old child bride who was locked up and tortured by her husband.

      'Crime against humanity'

      This murder took place in the village of Mahfalay, in the district of Khanabad in Kunduz.

      Khanabad's police chief, Sufi Habib, told the BBC that "the mother gave birth to a third girl two months ago. The husband and mother-in-law strangled her for giving birth to a third daughter".

      Senior officials told the BBC that the mother-in-law, known as Wali Hazrata, tied the feet of the 22-year old woman, who was known as Stori, while Stori's husband strangled her.

      He is thought to be a fighter with an illegal armed militia which is is believed to have some political support. Local villagers say that Stori often urged her husband to lay down his arms.

      "She lived in a hell not a house. But then she also asked her husband to stay home and avoid going out with these thugs," one neighbour who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC.

      While militia groups have some political support, they have often been accused of violence against women, robberies and extortion.

      Afghan women's rights activists brought this case to the attention of the media.

      The Director for Kunduz Women's affairs, Nadira Gya, condemned the incident saying: "it was a brutal crime committed against an innocent woman".

      Local religious and tribal elders in the district also condemned the killing, saying it was an act of ignorance, and calling it a crime against Islam, humanity and women.

      They called for immediate punishment. Wali Hazrata appears to have made no public comment as yet.


      Afghan woman killed for giving birth to 2nd daughter

      Updated 11:18 AM Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

      2011 file photo of Afghan women peeking inside a hospital while she and others wait for an employee to let them enter. An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband. Photo / AP

      2011 file photo of Afghan women peeking inside a hospital while she and others wait for an employee to let them enter. An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband. Photo / AP

      An Afghan woman has been strangled to death, apparently by her husband, who was upset that she gave birth to a second daughter rather than the son he wanted, police have said.

      It was the latest in a series of grisly examples of subjugation of women that have made headlines in Afghanistan in the past few months including a 15-year-old tortured and forced into prostitution by in-laws and a female rape victim who was imprisoned for adultery.

      The episodes have raised the question of what will happen to the push for women's rights in Afghanistan as the international presence there shrinks along with the military drawdown. NATO forces are scheduled to pull out by the end of 2014.

      In the 10 years since the ouster of the Taleban, great strides have been made for women in Afghanistan, with many attending school, working in offices and even sometimes marching in protests. But abuse and repression of women are still common, particularly in rural areas where women are still unlikely to set foot outside of the house without a burqa robe that covers them from head to toe.

      The man in the latest case, Sher Mohammad, fled the Khanabad district in Kunduz province last week, about the time a neighbor found his 22-year-old wife dead in their house, said District Police Chief Sufi Habibullah. Medical examiners whom police brought to check the body said she had been strangled, Habibullah said.

      The woman, named Estorai, had warned family members that her husband had repeatedly reproached her for giving birth to a daughter rather than a son and had threatened to kill her if it happened again, said Provincial women's affairs chief Nadira Ghya, who traveled to Khanabad to deal with the case. Estorai gave birth to her second daughter between two and three months ago, Ghya said. Officials did not have a family name for either Sher Mohammad or Estorai.

      Police took the man's mother into custody because she appears to have collaborated in a plot to kill her daughter-in-law, Habibullah said. Ghya, who visited the man's mother in jail, said that she swears that Estorai committed suicide by hanging. Police said they found no rope and no evidence of hanging from the woman's wounds.

      Boy babies are traditionally prized much more highly than girls in Afghanistan, where a son means a breadwinner and a daughter is seen as a drain on the family until she is married off. Even so, a murder over the gender of a baby would be rare and shocking if proved true.

      The US Embassy issued a statement on Monday praising the Afghan government for recent declarations supporting women's rights in the wake of the latest abuse cases that have garnered media attention.

      "The rights of women cannot be relegated to the margins of international affairs, as this issue is at the core of our national security and the security of people everywhere," the statement said. It did not address the killing of the young woman in Kunduz.

      -AP



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