A jealous husband in northern Afghanistan is on the run from authorities after he allegedly tied up his 21-year-old Afghan wife and severed both her ears, marking the latest in a series of similar high-profile domestic violence attacks in the war-ravaged country.
“The victim, [identified only as] Zarina, said from her hospital bed that her husband suddenly woke up at midnight and attacked her and cut off her ears with a [knife],” reports Pajhwok Afghan News.
“My husband always treats me badly. I wasn’t even allowed to visit my parents. He is a very suspicious man and often accused me of talking to strange men when I went to visit my parents,” the traumatized victim, currently at a hospital in stable condition, told TOLO News.
Zarina’s attacker has not been identified.
“I haven’t committed any sin,” she told BBC “I don’t know why my husband did this to me.”
The incident took place in northern Afghanistan’s province of Balkh, which is located on the country’s border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Citing the victim’s aunt, identified only as Hamid, TOLO reports that Zarina married when she was only 14, but BBC reports that she married a year earlier.
Zarina told BBC that “relations with her husband were not good.”
“I will no longer live with him,” revealed Zarina. She has demanded her husband’s arrest and prosecution.
Police told reporters the husband absconded following the attack.
“Her account is the latest in a series of high-profile domestic abuse incidents and cases of violence against women in Afghanistan,” reports BBC.
Since the U.S. military removed the Taliban regime, which stripped women of all human rights, the American government has invested tens of millions in taxpayer funds to improve conditions for women in the country.
U.S. troops dethroned the Taliban in late 2001. Nevertheless, incidents of heinous attacks against women continue across the country.
In January 2016, a young woman, Reza Gul had her nose cut off by her husband in the remote Ghormach district of north-western Faryab province.
In September 2014, a man cut off part of his wife’s nose with a kitchen knife, in central Daykundi Province, according to police. It is not clear whether he was ever caught.
In 2010, Time magazine featured the case of 18-year-old Aisha on its front page. Her husband mutilated the young woman, cutting off her nose and ears as punishment for running away.
Efforts by the Afghan government to introduce laws to protect women from domestic violence have failed.
Former Afghan President Karzai was either unable or unwilling to implement legislation to protect women after it had been approved by parliament.
Despite allegedly working with his wife to improve the condition of women in the country, the current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has yet to sign legislation to protect women and children from violence even though it has been passed by parliament.