US expects Afghan prosecutors to uphold Gulnaz’s rights
WASHINGTON (PAN): Expressing heartfelt condolences to Gulnaz and her young daughter, the United States on Wednesday said it expects that Afghan prosecutors would uphold their rights.
Afghan prosecutors announced Wednesday that a young rape victim, jailed for adultery after reporting the crime and pushed into marrying her attacker, would have her sentence reduced from twelve to three years. The prosecutor said she would, for now, remain in jail -- with her child -- for not reporting her attack fast enough.
In a remarkable case that is all too common in Afghanistan but has drawn international attention, 21-year-old Gulnaz was attacked by a relative two years ago, but sentenced to 12 years in jail for adultery.
She has since given birth to a girl from the attack. Because of the dishonor of sex outside of wedlock, she had been given the choice of marrying her attacker to get out of jail and legitimize her infant daughter in the eyes of Afghanistan's conservative society. The child is imprisoned with her at Badambagh Prison on the outskirts of capital Kabul.
Gulnaz says she at first tried to hide the attack against her because she could be killed for bringing shame on her community. Only her pregnancy exposed the attack and began criminal investigations that led to her conviction for adultery.
The State Department said Gulnaz’s situation is one that no woman should have to face and their heartfelt condolences go out to her and her young daughter.
The Law for the Elimination of Violence against Women was a major advancement for the rights of women in Afghanistan, but without full training and implementation, situations such as this one would continue to occur, the State Department said in a statement.
“We expect Afghan prosecutors to properly apply the law while also upholding Gulnaz’s rights,” it said.
The United States and its international partners will continue to work with the Afghan government to promote country-wide rights-based training for lawyers, prosecutors and judges, increase public awareness about women’s rights, and engage with men and boys to make them partners in social justice, the State Department concluded.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.