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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.

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