Punishing "Moral Crimes" in Afghanistan

afghan women protest

Afghan Young Women for Change (YWC) activists, holding placards which read "where is justice?", take part in a protest denouncing violence against women in Afghanistan in Kabul on April 14, 2012.

Despite enormous improvements to women’s livelihoods in the decade since the fall of the Taliban, much action is needed by the Afghan government and the international community.

For example, women in Afghanistan face some of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, more than half of all girls in the country do not attend school, and many women are forced into marriage shortly after puberty.

To make matter worse, women can face the prospect of being jailed for reporting violence perpetrated against them as reported in Human Rights Watch’s new report, detailing the detention of 400 women and girls imprisoned in the country for “moral crimes”.

These “moral crimes” are not crimes at all but is discrimination by the police, the judiciary and government officials against women trying to report abusive relationships. As the report notes:

[I]n one court record that Human Rights Watch reviewed, Tahmina J., 18, said she was raped. Instead of pursuing her allegations, the court’s decision warned that women should know that it is unsafe for them to go out at night, and said the victim must not have screamed very much or someone would have heard her. The court concluded that two men took Tahmina J. to an abandoned building and “sexually assaulted” her, yet convicted her of zina and sentenced her to two-and-a-half years in prison, where she remains today.

Instead of using very scarce resources to prosecute the perpetrators of serious human rights violations against women and girls, Afghanistan is prosecuting women and girls who have not committed a crime.

Human rights – and women’s rights – must be non-negotiable. The United States must affirm that it should and will help protect Afghan women. Their human rights, their safety, their very lives must not be sacrificed as U.S. troops withdraw from the country.

Take action for Afghan women and girls now

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4 thoughts on “Punishing "Moral Crimes" in Afghanistan

  1. how the hell can the Afghani officials justify this in any logical world? are they living on the other side of Lewis Carroll's looking glass? OFF WITH THEIR APPARENTLY ABSENT HEADS ! ! !

  2. how the hell can the Afghani officials justify this in any logical world? are they living on the other side of Lewis Carroll’s looking glass? OFF WITH THEIR APPARENTLY ABSENT HEADS ! ! !

  3. To the young Ladys:
    We have made progress, We can see the colors on the clothing, a photo in the hand , a veil across the face, a beautiful light shinning. I would say lets give them buttons,ribbons,bows,flowers,and aTea party. The simple symbols of peace. Photos can lie, communicating is difficult.
    What give's the U.S.A the right to assault a country and then withdraw and leave the country in shambles? Brutal. We can here your words, we can see your photos,I can feel your pain in the social media. We are making progress,one step at a time. The Generation gap is large and looming.
    U.S.A. must maintain a military presence; to stand like the National guard and
    the Royal Arms of England : witness the suffering , if for no other reason , to right the disappointing choices made by our former leaders of United States leaders and give hope and protect the women and children. We really all want the same things; to love and be loved , to trust,and be trusted, to have a safe place to LIVE and raise our children, for the children are our future. I want to say I am sorry; We hurt your country, I suppose it to late to fix it yet. for it is what it is. Peace
    Linda K. Eckhoff
    U.S.A. United States of America.
    Wilmette,Illinois
    April,17th 2012 AD

  4. To the young Ladys:
    We have made progress, We can see the colors on the clothing, a photo in the hand , a veil across the face, a beautiful light shinning. I would say lets give them buttons,ribbons,bows,flowers,and aTea party. The simple symbols of peace. Photos can lie, communicating is difficult.
    What give’s the U.S.A the right to assault a country and then withdraw and leave the country in shambles? Brutal. We can here your words, we can see your photos,I can feel your pain in the social media. We are making progress,one step at a time. The Generation gap is large and looming.
    U.S.A. must maintain a military presence; to stand like the National guard and
    the Royal Arms of England : witness the suffering , if for no other reason , to right the disappointing choices made by our former leaders of United States leaders and give hope and protect the women and children. We really all want the same things; to love and be loved , to trust,and be trusted, to have a safe place to LIVE and raise our children, for the children are our future. I want to say I am sorry; We hurt your country, I suppose it to late to fix it yet. for it is what it is. Peace
    Linda K. Eckhoff
    U.S.A. United States of America.
    Wilmette,Illinois
    April,17th 2012 AD