NEWS

Halima, Afghanistan Woman, Shot By Father In Front Of Mob

04/30/2013 03:51 EDT | Updated 04/30/2013 03:56 EDT
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Burqa-clad Afghan women shop in a busy market in Herat early April 21, 2013. Afghanistan has made some progress in using the law to protect women against violence but many still suffer horrific abuse despite 11 years of Western intervention, a UN report on December 2012 showed. AFP PHOTO/ SHAH Marai (Photo credit should read SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images)

An Afghan woman has been shot dead by her father in front of a mob of hundreds, Amnesty International is reporting.

Her crime?

Dishonouring her family.

Amnesty only identifies the woman as Halima, adding that she was between the ages of 18 and 20 and had two children — and that she had run away with a cousin while her husband was in Iran.

The same cousin reportedly sent her back to her home village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of the north-western Badghis province. Soon after a trio of village religious leaders issued a fatwa, or religious judgment, against her. She was shot dead on April 22.

In condemning her public execution, Amnesty's Afghanistan researcher Horia Mosadiq said, “Violence against women continues to be endemic in Afghanistan and those responsible very rarely face justice."

“Not only do women face violence at the hands of family members for reasons of preserving so-called ‘honour’, but frequently women face human rights abuses resulting from verdicts issued by traditional, informal justice systems. These systems must be reformed and the police must prevent such verdicts being carried out.”

Violence against women in Afghanistan shows no signs of fading, with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission reporting more than 3,000 cases from March to October last year — a rise of nearly a third compared to the same period in 2011.

In March of this year, the UN special Envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis blamed the violence on Afghan culture.

“The majority is linked to domestic violence, tradition, culture of the country,” he told reporters at the United Nations in New York on March 19.

“Of course there are very clearly attacks on women’s activists by the insurgency,” he added. “Then there are unfortunate situations when indeed women are killed while doing their daily chores (by unexploded bombs).”

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