Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Moral crimes

"Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school. 'I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,' she explains. She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months . . ."

The BBC reports from an Afghan women's prison.

According to Afghanistan's Ministry for Women's Affairs, "about half of Afghanistan's 476 women prisoners were detained for 'moral crimes'" -- a broad category that includes "running away from home" (often fleeing domestic violence), "refusing to marry," and "marrying against their family's wishes."

Reporting on a different Afghan prison in 2008, The Independent noted that most of the women there were in prison for being raped.

More: Al Jazeera video from 2007.

(Cross-posted on Metafilter. First link via my mom, Ann Althouse.)


dbp said...

Stories like this remind us that there is still evil in the world. If evil is a word that makes some people uncomfortable, how about backwardness so extreme that it is indistinguishable from evil?

John Althouse Cohen said...

I agree that it's important to recognize that there's evil in the world. I have a tag for it. I'll add it to this post...