Afghan woman raped by policeman while trying to report her rapist

The Afghan government falls short in taking measures for women issues and right groups say eight out of ten women have been sexually, physically or psychologically abused.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

It is difficult for an Afghan woman to approach a male officer due to cultural and social reasons and if they do their complaints are seldom handled properly, non-governmental organisation Oxfam says.

A teenage Afghan woman was raped by a police chief at the police station while trying to report her rapist.

A man abducted the 18-year-old woman, Mariam, at gunpoint from her house and took her to another location where two men raped her in Balkh province, northern Afghanistan in early July.

"When I went with my father to report the rape case, the police commissioner ordered my father to wait outside, and took me into his office where he also raped me," Mariam said on Monday.

More than eight out of ten Afghan women have been sexually, physically or psychologically abused, but only a few thousand cases are reported each year. Afghanistan falls short at empowering women rights and preventing cases against them, Human Rights Watch stated in its latest Afghanistan report.

After raping her, the police chief warned her to "keep her mouth shut," or she would be killed.

However, police commissioner Akram Zareh has denied any wrongdoing, claiming himself as an “honest’ police officer.

Mariam's father, Khairuddin, brought his daughter to the capital Kabul to seek justice.

He said he met Afghanistan's attorney general who promised to investigate the case.

The attorney general asked the woman to tell the story with respecting her privacy, the attorney general's chief of staff, Baktash Azizi told Reuters.

"After hearing the case, the attorney general appointed the Balkh provincial prosecutor and a special military prosecutor to investigate and present their findings as soon as possible."

Zareh who is already being investigated in another rape case is still serving as the district police commissioner, Azizi said.

Mariam speaking from Kabul said she would not go home until he was removed from office. "I will burn myself, but will not go back home where he is ruling. I will stay here until I get justice."

TRTWorld and agencies