Bulbul was beaten to death with sticks by her husband. (Photo: RAWA.org)
Bulbul Bismillah, who lived in Bangi in Takhar province, was killed by her husband on January 30, 2014. She had suffered beatings by her in-laws and husband for a while, but had not told anybody about it out of fear. She was found dead in her husband’s house.
Bulbul’s sister gave the details of her death and marriage, “She was 25 years old and had been married for two years. She had one child. We had not been in contact with her for a while because her husband did not allow anyone to visit them. We bought them gifts and cloths but her husband returned them. Bulbul had been exchanged in marriage (Badal, a practice where two sisters marry two brothers). My brother had married his sister and we lived in Taloqan city.”
She continued while crying, “My brother is a laborer and we have financial problems. Two months back, he had to go to Iran to work and sent his wife to her mother’s home. Bulbul also lived in that house. My sister-in-law complained about Bulbul several times. Bulbul’s husband was also a laborer and mostly stayed home as there was no work. It was then that he beat her several times. But Bulbul never told us because their marriage would suffer then. When we found out that my sister had been killed we went to their home. There was nobody there. Her husband and in-laws had all fled. My sister’s body lay in a room. They had killed her by beating her with sticks.”
Bulbul’s bruised legs and hips clearly show that she had been beaten with sticks. She had not screamed till the end and suffocated to death.
This is not a new case. These things have been happening for a long time and will continue to happen. In a country where misogynist fundamentalist rulers dominate the state at every level, such cases will continue to increase. Criminals and wrongdoers enjoy impunity especially in cases of domestic violence. The Karzai government has even tried to pass a law which will not criminalize domestic violence against women so that these cases can be given an official legal stamp.