Afghan teen killed after forced marriage

Police in Charikar said they believe Tamana was intentionally poisoned

Written by Reuters | Charikar | Published: July 17, 2012 1:40:06 am

Pressing her cheek against the fresh grave of her teenage daughter at the cemetery in Parwan province Sabera cries.

She says her daughter Tamana was murdered by a relative in a so-called honour killing,in what officials link to a wider trend of rapidly growing violence against women in Afghanistan.

Fifteen-year-old Tamana died not far from where a young woman was publicly executed for alleged adultery last month,touching off an international outcry.

Tamana’s parents say she never returned from a trip to the local bakery in March,located near their home in Parwan’s capital Charikar. The next time they saw her was one week ago,lying dead on a hospital bed. A video filmed on their mobile phone last Monday at her funeral shows the teenager’s bruised face swathed in white sheets.

“My daughter always said she wouldn’t stop studying,and would one day become important,having to travel to work in a convoy of cars,” Sabera said. “But now she is under a tonne of clay,” she said,prompting her husband,retired intelligence official Abdul Fatah,to wipe a tear from his eyes.

Tamana was forcibly married to her cousin after refusing his advances for months,they say,adding she was beaten and killed for being a disobedient wife,unable to hide her unhappiness.

Police in Charikar said they believe Tamana was intentionally poisoned,although cannot say with certainty until the results of the autopsy come.

No one has been arrested over Tamana’s killing,but the alleged killer’s sister was given as a bride to Tamana’s brother as compensation,abiding by the brutal Afghan practice “baad”,which is widespread despite Karzai criminalising it in 2009.

Tamana is one of eight women killed in Parwan since March.

Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission has recorded 52 murders of girls and women in the last four months,42 of which were honour killings,compared to 20 murders for all of last year. Activists accuse President Hamid Karzai’s government of selling out to the ultra-conservative Taliban,with whom it seeks peace talks,as most foreign troops prepare to leave the country by the end of 2014.

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