Raped Afghan Women Sentenced for “Moral Crimes”

The European Union recently blocked the release of a documentary commissioned by the EU about Afghan women in prison for moral crimes, known as Zina. The film follows two girls, one who was raped and another who ran away from domestic violence/ The documentary highlights the many injustices and human rights violations currently being carried out against women in Afghanistan. And even though the Afghan women had made recent strides in women’s rights, the film points out  that sentencing of women for moral crimes has gone up.

Half of female prisoners in Afghanistan are sentenced for “moral crimes,” which Human Rights Watch estimates to be in the hundreds. These women are imprisoned for anywhere from 2 to 12 years, and sometimes there is a way out: in the case of rape you can choose to marry your rapist.

And when these poor women are set free? They have to worry about being murdered by their family members for bringing shame. One source quotes “Quite a few of them feel like they’re going to be forced back into the abusive situation that they escaped from and some have said very clearly that they expect their families are likely to kill them, because they’ve brought shame on their families by ending up in prison.”

The reason the release was blocked, an EU official stated, was to protect the safety of the women in the film.

Read more here.

About Claire

I grew up in both the Netherlands and the US. When I moved to America at age 10 I was confronted with conflicting social constructs of gender and class. As a student of the social and cognitive sciences, I gained a greater understanding of how human decision-making can lead to unintended system-wide consequences in the interdependent world we live in, especially when you throw stereotyping into the mix. Having struggled as both a poor and female American citizen, I am quite aware of what it means to blame a victim for their circumstances. I feel that I have a voice, and responsibility, to stand up for those who are currently silent.

3 thoughts on “Raped Afghan Women Sentenced for “Moral Crimes”

  1. Oh God my heart cries out for these women. I understand what it is like to be locked up, for I spent 9 years of my childhood locked up at the hands of a psychopathic killer. It has taken me years to come to the place where I feel safe enough that I can write about my stories. My hope and intentions is to give a voice to the silenced Angels that didn’t survive. When I hear stories like this about other girls/women around the world experiencing what I lived, it pushes me forward to continuing to write. This must stop. Not one more person should suffer this way.

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