Pajhwok Afghan News (Translated by RAWA), February 13, 2007

Seven suicide cases of young girls in Takhar province

Twenty six year old Aziza burned herself and lost her life after two days in the hospital

By Abdul Mateen Sarfaraz and Ali Mohammad Khoshhal

Taliqan: Two young girls in Takhar and Uruzgan provinces committed suicide, the reason being domestic violence. With the suicide of another young girl, the number of suicide cases of girls and women in Takhar province has come up to seven.

Eighteen year old Samiya, daughter of Gulzar and resident of the Teer village in Farkhar district, hung herself by a rope after hearing the news about her engagement to a sixty year old man.

Brigadier Khalilullah, head of Anti-crime Department of the Police of Takhar province told Pajhwak Afghan News that according to their information and investigation Samiya was engaged by force to an old man, who was already married to another woman, three years ago.

He added that Samiya's husband lived in Iran and when he recently returned and Samiya found out that she was going to get married, she hung herself and brought her life to an end.

Brigadier Khalilullah said that her family found out three hours later and found their daughter's hanged body among the trees in the garden behind their home.He said that according to Gulzar (Samiya's father) his daughter was not assented with this engagement, and that they hoped that with the passage of time she would give up for the marriage but did not know that a forced marriage would be the cause of their daughter's death.

Razmara Hawash head of Women's Affairs department of Takhar province said the families were guilty in such matters and the case of Samiya's suicide was reported to them by the people.

Hawash with conviction of forced marriages of girls added: "If the parents don't marry their daughters by force, especially to old men, such painful and shocking cases would not occur."

Head of Women's Affairs of Takhar said that in the current year this was the seventh case of girls' and women's suicide in Takhar. The reasons behind these instances are domestic violence and forced marriages. While last year, not one case of suicide was reported to them.

In this conversation she related to story of Bibi Gul, twenty two, who committed suicide three months ago in Charmgari area of Taliqan (center of Takhar) because of domestic abuses. Bibi Gul locked herself up in the animals' stable and poured oil on herself. By the time the police arrived, they found nothing except her bones.

As said by the police, Bibi Gul's husband and mother-in-law had run away and two children, including a breast-fed infant were left behind. Also, twenty six year old Aziza burned herself and lost her life after two days in the hospital. This took place about four months ago in the second district of the city of Taliqan.

Committing suicide is not only prohibited in Islam but is also a disliked act from human rights' point of view.

Mohammad Zahir Zafari head of regional office of human rights independent commission of the northeast zone, convicting abuse against women and forced marriages, told the Pajhwok News that they would investigate the case of Samiya's suicide.He claimed that the police do not take action on time and are incapable of inspecting.

Zafari asked the government that the main factors of forced marriages and other abuses that finally lead to suicide should be identified and serious action should be taken against them.

According to him, many cases of violence are brought to the regional office of human rights that include abuse against women and rape and sometimes in response to rape the families are given land and money so that they keep quiet and not file a case against those culpable.

Again, a girl of eighteen in the Ghochak area of Chora district, Uruzgan province had had poison and ended her life two days back.

Rahimullah, a resident of Chora district who had come to Tarinkot (center of Uruzgan) on Feb.12, 2007, told the Pajhwok News that he had been present in the funeral and burial of the girl.

Rahimullah said that he does not know the girl's name and the reason why she had eaten poison. Haji Nazar Mohammad, member of the provincial council of the Chora district, who lives in Tarinkot, declared he was unaware of the case.

Also, Sumunwal Gulab security commander of Uruzgan said that till now no information about the suicide of this girl had been given.

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