Afghanistan: 15 years’ jail for fleeing from a cruel husband


This woman (above left) was a failed suicide bomber, sentenced to 4 years. Shahperai (above right) a 22-year-old woman sentenced to 15-year for fleeing from a cruel husband.

At the Badam Bagh women’s prison in Kabul, home to 150 female inmates and 70 of their children, the chief warden, Lt Col Zarafshan, lowers her voice. “Because of my pain, my hurt and my sense of injustice, I am telling you this,” she says. “If we had a good justice system only about ten of these women would be in prison.”

Afghan women can still be imprisoned for “moral crimes”. These include running away from home, defying family wishes regarding the choice of a spouse, adultery and elopement.

A recent UN report stated that at least half of women imprisoned in Afghanistan are there for moral crimes. Zarafshan puts the proportion a lot higher.

Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association for more

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