By Wahid Paykan
Manizha is a 20-year old woman from Moqor area of southern Ghazni province who revealed to BBC how she was constantly tortured by her husband.
She was kept in the basement of her home for weeks with her hands and feet tied up. Her husband would beat her with sticks, chains, and even a whip. Manizha’s half-dead body tells her sad tale.
I met Manizha in the home of one of her relatives in Kabul. When I met her, she couldn’t see anything, and screamed from the pain of the wounds and injuries caused by the beatings.
She said, “They punched and kicked me on my face. They tied my hands with a rope and beat me with chains, sticks and a whip. I spent days and weeks in the basement of the house with my hands and feet tied up. They forced me to work in the cold and snow.”
Manziha adds, “There is no part of my body which is not injured. The nails of my hands have fallen, and my feet don’t have the strength to move.”
She says she married her uncle’s grandson two years back with her own consent, but she was a servant in her husband’s house and not a daughter-in-law.
Manizha said, “From the day I married this man, I was always striving to make his family happy, and did the house work with a lot of interest. But the incorrect behavior of my husband’s mother, and especially my husband’s beatings and brutal behavior, didn’t give me this chance. I was not the daughter-in-law of that house, I was the slave or servant.”
Manizha’s father: I will defend my daughter
Humayoun, Manizha’s father, went to Moqor when he found out that his daughter was being tortured, and brought his daughter out of the house with the excuse of meeting her mother, and transferred her to Kabul.
While shedding tears, he said, “I will defend my daughter at any cost. I pull wooden carts around and I don’t have money to go to this and that court. I will follow my daughter’s case with my empty hands and will separate her from her husband who is a criminal.”
He added, “I have contacted the family and relatives of my daughter’s husband and asked them to come to Kabul and state their son’s punishment.”
Manizha lived in Moqor and her husband was a motorcycle repairman. According to Manizha, her husband never behaved well with her.
Manizha’s mother cries the most. She says, “I just cannot believe I am seeing my daughter in this condition with my own eyes.”
In the safe house
Manizha was taken to a hospital by the people in charge of a ‘safe house’ in Kabul, which is run by a NGO called HAWCA.
Hamida, the administrator of this center says, “With the permission of Manizha’s family members, we want to file a case, get her a lawyer and follow her case through the court.”
Doctors in Aliabad Hospital where she is being treated, say that she is in a better condition now, but the torture and ill-treatment have badly affected her mentally. Dr. Abdul Maroof Nadeem, an official of the hospital told BBC that they have given their best for the betterment of this woman.
But this is not the first time Manizha has escaped to Kabul due to torture and beatings. She says, “I came to Kabul about six months back and told my story to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.”
‘This family is accusing us’
But Fawzia Amini, head of the legal sector of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs said, “I think the case of this girl has not reached the ministry. This family is accusing us. If we had got the case, we would have investigated it and justice would have been served for this woman.”
Manizha’s troubles is one of the many cases of violence against women in Afghanistan, which is leaking to the media one by one these days.
This violence comes amid the signing of a bill by 3000 government officials and laymen in support of implementing the Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) Law.