TOLOnews.com, January 17, 2013
Two Girls Seek Justice in Multiple Rape Cases
Two girls are seeking justice for two separate rape cases in Afghanistan's central and northern provinces
By Karim Amini & Salaha Soadat
Two girls are seeking justice for two separate rape cases in Afghanistan's central and northern provinces, both accusing government personnel of raping them after they sought help from a previous rape.
In northern Baghlan province's Nahrin district, 13-year-old Zarbibi was allegedly raped by her cousin multiple times, and was subsequently raped by the police officer investigating her case.
Meanwhile in central Daykundi province, a teenager who was staying in a woman's shelter after her family expelled her for being raped has accused the guards at the shelter of gang-raping her.
According to Zarbibi, she was initially kidnapped by her cousin, who was helped by a group of men, and taken to the nearby Khost district where her cousin raped her several times.
When her uncle intervened and brought her back home, Nahrin district criminal investigation officer, Col. Barat Daqiq, took advantage of Zarbibi in his own home after asking her to come for questioning.
"After I was away from my cousin and brought home by my uncle, the investigation officer called my uncle and told him 'The girl should come to my house for investigations,' and my uncle told him 'The attorney has investigated and this is not necessary,'" Zarbibi told TOLOnews.
"The officer said the investigation had to be done again and took me to his place. Then he said 'I'm tired now – I will start the investigation tonight.' My uncle opposed it but he [Daqiq] didn't accept. He came to my bed at night and raped me. I screamed and he covered my mouth."
Zarbibi's family said Daqiq has not been charged, but Baghlan police chief Assadullah Shirzad refuted this saying both Daqiq and the cousin have been charged and referred for trial.
The group of men who kidnapped Zarbibi has also been arrested, he said.
But the family want Daqiq, who was released from jail, back behind bars until the trial.
Zarbibi's uncle said that following his release, Daqiq has threatened them more than once and told them "I will kill you all."
Zarbib is now in Kabul seeking to have her case addressed.
"I have come to Kabul for my case to be addressed and the men who did this to be arrested," she said. "Why does nobody hear me? It was my cousin who did this, and now this man."
Meanwhile, in Daykundi province, there are conflicting accounts of the teenage girl who claims she was raped by guards at the women's shelter.
The girl, whose name was not disclosed, went to the women's shelter because her family banished her after she was raped. The details of this first rape are not known.
She was given a bed in a room where six guards also slept, according to provincial officials.
"I confirm that she was kept in one building with six guards, but I reject that the girl was raped," said Habiba Shujaee, the head of the Women's Affairs Administration in Daykundi.
"There are claims by the girl herself that six people raped her, but sometimes it's one person. The inspections are being done," said Qurban Uruzgani, Daykundi provincial governor.
"We have arrested the six guards and Mrs. Shujaee based on the evidence we had. Mrs. Shujaee has been released on bail but will be presented to the attorney general for questioning," Uruzgani said.
The provincial human rights commission has confirmed that a forensic examination proved that the girl was raped, contrary to Shujaee's claim, and questioned the decision to give her a bed in the guards' quarters.
"The space for the girl to stay was not safe. Based on what logic should a girl be kept in one building with six guards?" said Mohammad Jawad Dadgar, head of the Human Rights Commission in Daykundi.
It comes after four women committed suicide in Daykundi last fortnight over family violence, forced marriage, and poverty, while a mullah is said to have raped two of his teenage students.
Characters Count: 4541