Afghan woman deprived of human rights, raped, jailed and has to marry rapist

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a rape victim who was jailed for adultery, after she agreed to marry the rapist.

The president’s office confirmed Thursday that the woman, identified as Gulnaz, had agreed to marry her attacker.

Her story came to light when Clementine Malpas, who has produced several human rights films in Africa and Afghanistan, made a documentary on Afghan women who are jailed for adultery, even in cases involving rape.

Some 5,000 people signed a petition for Gulnaz’s release. News of her pardon came in a statement from the presidential palace, according to the BBC.

Gulnaz gave birth in prison to a daughter who has been kept with her in jail.

She reportedly said in a documentary she needed to marry her attacker to maintain her family’s honor.

“I don’t want people to call [my daughter] a bastard and abuse my brothers,” Gulnaz said.

The documentary film was funded by the European Union – until diplomats censored it out of fear for the women’s welfare if their identities were revealed, and for their relations with the Afghan government, according to the Guardian.

“There are hundreds of women in this situation and it is well overdue to look at the injustices done to them,” Heather Barr, Human Rights Watch’s Afghanistan researcher said.

The EU’s Ambassador and Special Representative to Afghanistan, Vygaudas Usackas, said: “Her case has served to highlight the plight of Afghan women, who, 10 years after the overthrow of the Taliban regime, often continue to suffer in unimaginable conditions, deprived of even the most basic human rights.”