‘Cutting the nose, lips and ears’: Brutality against Afghan women at record level

AFP Photo / Shah MaraiRT News

Violent crimes against women in Afghanistan reached an unprecedented level of brutality in 2013, an Afghan human rights watchdog has announced as the US-led coalition prepares to withdraw.

Chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Sima Samar, told Reuters that the pace and the hideousness of attacks on women intensified in 2013 with a 25 per cent surge in cases from March through September. 

“The brutality of the cases is really bad. Cutting the nose, lips and ears. Committing public rape,” Samar said. “Mass rape… It’s against dignity, against humanity.”

The spokeswoman noted that as the withdrawal deadline draws near for international troops, women in tribal areas are less protected, leaving them vulnerable to violent assaults.

“The presence of the international community and provincial reconstruction teams in most of the provinces was giving people confidence,” Samar said. “There were people there trying to protect women. And that is not there anymore, unfortunately.”

She also noted that poor economic conditions and the lack of security are also contributing factor to the rise of incidents.
Other human rights workers are blaming the attacks and even killing of women on the absence of law in a country based on patriarchal tribal societies.

“Killing women in Afghanistan is an easy thing. There’s no punishment,” Suraya Pakzad, who runs women’s shelters in several provinces, told Reuters.

Citing the cases of public stoning, Pakzad said, that the future looks bleak for women’s rights in the country.

“Laws are improved, but implementation of those laws is in the hands of warlords… I think we are going backwards.”

In November, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the Afghans to reject a proposal by the Justice Ministry that is assisting in drafting a new penal code that includes restoring stoning as punishment for adultery.

“It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand,” Adams added.

The draft legislature is seeking to introduce stoning for sexual intercourse outside a legal marriage, and stipulates that both man and woman shall be sentenced to “[s]toning to death if the adulterer or adulteress is married.”

It also states the “implementation of stoning shall take place in public in a predetermined location.” If the“adulterer or adulteress is unmarried,” the sentence shall be “whipping 100 lashes.”


AFP Photo / Noorullah Shirzada AFP Photo / Noorullah Shirzada


Death through stoning was used during the Taliban government, in power from the mid-1990s to 2001. After the US lead invasion and the establishment of a new government, Afghanistan signed on to international human rights conventions pledging to protect rights, especially for women.

International law says that death by stoning violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Afghanistan has ratified.

In its 2013 report on Afghanistan, HRW blames the government for a “failure to respond effectively to violence against women” which “undermines the already-perilous state of women’s rights.”

Furthermore, HRW argues that the rhetoric stemming from the leadership in the country further ignites violence against women.

“President Hamid Karzai’s endorsement in March of a statement by a national religious council calling women ‘secondary,’ prohibiting violence against women only for ‘un-Islamic’ reasons, and calling for segregating women and girls in education, employment, and in public, raises questions about the government’s commitment to protecting women. The minister of justice’s description of battered women shelters as sites of ‘immorality and prostitution’ deepens that skepticism,” the report stressed.

In October, UN Women’s right chief said that that “women’s rights continue to be violated, female officials are being targeted and killed, and legal protection is under threat.”

“It is imperative that women’s rights and empowerment are prioritized in the coming period of transition,”Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, told DW.

Most foreign forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year and it is unclear whether any will remain beyond 2014 as the Karzai government is still reluctant to sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States and has made demands that Washington calls “unrealistic”.


16 thoughts on “‘Cutting the nose, lips and ears’: Brutality against Afghan women at record level

  1. And naturally, this justifies another decade or two of troops in Afghanistan.

    I don’t give a sailing shite about human rights violations anywhere but in the USA, where we have endless problems of our own to deal with.

    If the Afghan women don’t like their noses being chopped off, they can do something about it without our help. I hope someone ends all your worries by chopping off your whole goddamn head. Then we won’t have to hear about your noses.

    1. Yes Jolly R. I agree with ya, however this just goes to show how dirty on person can be to another. For the most part, most people have absolutely no consideration or compasion for the other person. What they are doing to their women is absolutely wrong in my books, but like you said Jolly R. we here have more than enough problems to deal with than to be worrying about a bunch of sand n*gg*r diapper heads over there. I do however hope for the best for those people over there all the same.

      1. Can’t understand why those women are complaining after being given 12 years of freedom and democracy. Not to mention the trillion spent updating their infrastructure. I’m sure with all our tax support, the land is an oasis by now. /sarc

        1. Yes SamAdams, I do not remember the govt. asking me or anyone else that I know if they could use my hard earned tax money to spend to support them other foreign countries 🙁 😡

  2. but isnt the bigger story here that the west spent hundreds of billions of dollars and 12 years in afghanistan and have gotten no where except the enormous opium/heroin trade?

    1. Plus I wouldn’t be surprised if the west promoted these barbarous behaviors in order to shed crocodile tears over it later. Western hypocrisy is breathtaking…

  3. Jolly: ever hear of do unto others? So, if you don’t give a crap about women getting beheaded just because they’re women, then do you really expect others to give a crap about you? yes they could do something about it but you do know Afghan society has been like this for maybe 1,000 years? Add to that the Islamic hatred of women and presto…beheadings…

    1. Sorry DL, but I have to agree with Jolly on this one.
      Just got through watching an excerpt on Fox saying that men as men are no longer needed because the women are taking over. As this seems to be the theology of the commie-pussies, what those bitches over there in the Middle East need to do is pump their rubber nuts up and take care of the problem themselves. The fact is a close examination of what for the most part the females in this country have become is the best argument Middle Eastern men could ever put forth for keeping their women away from westernization.
      Too many of the women in this country are acting like they kicked our men’s asses and took their rights rather than having them granted by those who can easily do more than three pull ups and who have over the millennium put their women on a pedestal, only to be kicked in the face by the ungrateful bitches.
      Of course there is an absolute exception for the American national women who embrace all the fine things that come with their gender rather than rejecting them.
      It is indeed strange how some women, while attacking the other gender seem to want to be the other gender. I have heard a woman say about another woman, “She’s got balls” and actually thought the statement had meaning.
      I’ll tell you what, all these women who are acting like they want to step up into men’s faces are playing with fire, as when this war starts, the only restraint there is going to be on that individual man out there is his own conscience.
      And Jolly is right about another thing. Our problems are right here and right now and quite frankly the rest of the world can go to hell in my opinion, as I will not entertain the future of other people’s until my own people’s is secured.

    2. No, I don’t expect them to give a crap about me, but first of all, you have to have a very short memory to even believe this is happening.

      Doesn’t it sound a lot like Iran’s incubator babies? Or the Nazis catching babies on bayonets? Or Saddam throwing people into human shredding machines??

      They shovel similar non-sense EVERY time they want to send kids to war so they can pretend to be attacking from the moral high ground.

      I don’t see a shredded nose. I see Afghan women covering their faces as is their custom, and none of our business.

  4. If they want to hurt and kill each other (or their women) let them. How many US dead for NOTHING! If a US soldier wants to protect them fine, resign from the Service become a Private contractor and work for the UN and get paid by the UN. This country needs to get out from under the MIC and take care of our own first. The countdown is on in a few months things are going to begin to change.

  5. Don’t they know that the ear nose and lips need to stay intact so they can be pierced like the women do here in America? Don’t the men in Afghanistan appreciate the appearance of a shrapnel grenade exploding and metal lodging itself into the faces of their women like ours here in the states?

    1. Heck barry, it is not just the women over here that peirce their ears, noses, lips, nipples, eyebrows, and other places that are just discusting sicko places – and ya`ll can only figure where I`m talking about, some of them guys ? – roflmao – are doing that, damned sicko freaks. Them guys ? must be trying to be women or something I guess eh – or am I missin` something LOL 😆

        1. Ha Ha Ha Yep Millard, mr. piersed scrotum himself LOL. I think that he is the one or was it his foreskin. I am sure that that is what I have read about him.

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