Afghan women ‘jailed over morals’

AFP-JIJI

The number of women jailed in Afghanistan for “moral crimes” such as fleeing abusive husbands has risen sharply, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday, undermining claims that the status of women has improved.

The campaign group said Interior Ministry statistics revealed that the number of women and girls convicted of “moral crimes” in the war-torn country increased by 50 percent over 18 months from 400 to 600.

According to the HRW report, most of the 600 women in jail were victims of sexual assault and family violence who had run away from their attackers.

“Four years after the adoption of a law on violence against women and 12 years after Taliban rule, women are still imprisoned for being victims of forced marriage, domestic violence and rape,” said Brad Adams, Asia director of HRW.