Asia

Afghan woman's ears cut off by husband

  • 1 February 2017
  • From the section Asia
Zarina recovering in hospital (01 February 2017)
Image caption Zarina, recovering in hospital, said her husband had tried to stop visits to her parents

A 23-year-old Afghan woman has described to the BBC how her husband tied her up and cut off both her ears in a domestic violence attack in the northern province of Balkh.

The woman - Zarina - is now in a stable but traumatised condition in hospital.

"I haven't committed any sin," she said. "I don't know why my husband did this to me."

The woman's husband is on the run in Kashinda district following the attack, police have told local media.

Zarina told Pajhwok news that the unprovoked attack took place after her husband suddenly woke her up.

She was married at the age of 13, and told BBC that "relations with her husband were not good".

Zarina complained that her husband had tried to prevent her from seeing her parents, she said in another interview, with Tolo News. She said she no longer wanted to remain married to him.

Image caption Zarina says she no longer wants to remain married to her husband

"He is a very suspicious man and often accused me of talking to strange men when I went to visit my parents," she said.

She has demanded his arrest and prosecution.

Her account is the latest in a series of high-profile domestic abuse incidents and cases of violence against women in Afghanistan.

  • In January 2016, a young woman, Reza Gul [pictured, below], had her nose cut off by her husband in the remote Ghormach district of north-western Faryab province
  • Some months later, a woman was critically ill after being nearly beaten to death by her husband
  • In November 2015, a young woman was stoned to death in Ghor province after she had been accused of adultery
  • Earlier that year, a young Kabul woman, Farkhunda, was beaten and burned to death by a mob over false allegations she had set fire to a Koran
  • In September 2014, a man cut off part of his wife's nose with a kitchen knife, in central Daykundi Province, according to police. It is not clear whether he was ever caught
  • The case of Aisha featured on the front cover of Time magazine in 2010, after the 18-year-old was mutilated by her husband who cut off her nose and ears as punishment for running away
Image caption Reza Gul is waiting to be transferred for further treatment in Turkey

The Afghan government has repeatedly tried to introduce laws to protect women from domestic abuse.

But President Hamid Karzai during his time in power was unable - or unwilling - to sign off legislation even though it had been approved by both houses of parliament.

In 2014, for example, he ordered changes to draft legislation that critics said would severely limit justice for victims.

Mr Karzai's successor, Ashraf Ghani, has also yet to give his assent to legislation passed by Afghan parliament late last year. It was drafted to protect women and children from violence and harassment.

Image caption The latest attack, on a woman called Zarina, was in the Balkh province

Related Topics

More on this story