10-Year-Old Rape Survivor Faces "Honour" Killing
Most people associate family with feelings of comfort, security and unconditional love. Children especially depend upon their parents for protection and emotional support in difficult times.
When 10 year old Brishna from Afghanistan was sexually abused by a member of her community you might expect her family to have rallied around the young victim. Instead she finds herself threatened by the very people she should be relying on the most.
In May 2014 Brishna was violently raped, as medical tests have confirmed. The man accused of the rape is a local mullah, usually an authoritative and respected figure within a community. The mullah has been arrested and charged with the rape of a minor. He is currently in prison in Kabul where he awaits trial.
Threatened by her family
But Brishna’s troubles do not end there. On top of the mental and physical trauma of rape the young girl now finds her life threatened by members of her family and community who feel the crime has brought "shame" upon them.
Often women in Afghanistan are expected to behave in certain ways. Women who are assumed to have had sexual relations outside marriage are widely perceived to have brought “shame” on their families and are at risk of “honour” killing. Female rape victims may find themselves blamed and held responsible for an act over which they had no control or power to prevent and can risk becoming targets of “honour killings”.
Following the incident a local women’s organisation provided Brishna with hospital treatment and a place of refuge. During this time death threats were made against Brishna and Dr Hassina Sarwari, the head of Women for Afghan Women, for her role in protecting the girl.
This International Day of the Girl we are standing up for the right of Brishna and other young girls to live free from fear of violence. We ask you to write to the relevant authorities urging that Brishna receives full protection from the state, that her attacker is fairly brought to justice and that all threats against Brishna and those defending her are fully investigated and acted upon.
For more information and further guidance on what to put in your letter, please have a look at the attached case file.
Please write before 20 November 2014 to:
President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
Gul Khana Palace, Presidential Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan
Fax: 0093 (0) 202 141 135
Salutation: Your Excellency
The Attorney General
Mohammad Ishaq Alako
Attorney General’s Office
District 10, Qala-i-Fatullah
Fax : 0093 (0) 202 200 019
Salutation: Dear Sir
Please send copies of your letter to:
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Charayee Pashtoonistan, Foroushgah Kabul, Afghanistan
His Excellency Dr. Daud Yaar
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
31 Princes Gate, London SW7 1QQ.
Fax: 020 7581 3452
Tel: + 44 2075898891-2
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.