PAN (Translated by RAWA), October 7, 2009


Self-immolation of a young Afghan girl in Jawzjan province

Most of the people never ask the government officials to solve the cases of murder and violence against girls and women

Twenty five years old Shafiqa set herself on fire in Jowzjan province in Northern Afghanistan, Abdul Rahim, the chief investigator to Police department of Khanaqa said.

Self_immolation survival in Afghanistan
Self-immolation has been practiced in alarming rate by desperate Afghan women who lack access to justice and protection. (Photo: Paula Bronstein)

more photos ( http://www.rawa.org/self_immolation/index.htm )

He added, after the incident one of the neighbors informed the police and they transferred Shafiqa, who was badly burned, to the Shebrghan (center of Jowsjan) local hospital.

Doctor Abdul Satar Paygham, the chief of Jowsjan public health considered her health condition critical and said that her burn is sixty percent.

The chief investigator of Khanaqa says that Shafiqa has lost her parents years before and according to her neighbors she has been beaten by her brothers consistently.

He added that the incident is under investigation and yet the real reason of the suicide is not specified.

The two brothers of Shafiqa who were present in the public health of Jawsjan refused to talk.

Zahra Areeb the director of Jawsjan Women's Affairs condemning any type of violence against girls and women says that during the current year five girls and women has committed suicide in this province but they have been treated in the hospital and have survived after the suicide.

According to Ms Areeb, domestic violence, mistreatment of the families and bounding girls and women inside the houses are the factors of self-immolation.

Maghferat 'Samimi' the in charge of Human Rights Commission in Jowsjan, Faryab and Sarpul, condemning violence against Shafiqa said that the incidents of sexual abuse and self-immolation is more than the figures that a number of organizations and government officials in these three provinces report.

Samimi added: Most of the people never ask the government officials to solve the cases of murder and violence against girls and women as they see the the weakness and corruption of government officials and police to interrogate their problems.

Although Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission has not published the exact number of violence against women this year, but according to their information, in year 2008 the number of violence against women was recorded as 2000 cases, which was comprised of 77 rape cases.

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