Women Demand Punishment for the Killers of Four Afghan Women

A group of 200 women from 26 Afghan women’s groups protested in Kabul on Thursday to demand that the killers of four Afghan women be punished for their crimes. Three women were recently found raped and strangled to death in an attempt to scare women away from working for aid groups in the northern province of Baghlan earlier this week. Another young Afghan woman named Bibi Amena was sentenced to death by stoning by local religious leaders for allegedly committing adultery in the northeastern province on Badakhshan.

The United Nations is urging Afghan authorities to find the killers of the three Afghan women. Three suspects have already been detained. Jean Arnault, special representative for the UN’s Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said, “In a context where violence against women remains too often unprosecuted and unpunished, it is particularly important that the authorities spare no effort to bring swiftly the perpetrators to justice,” reports Reuters. Arnault went on to say that “the seriousness of the crime is compounded by the fact that a note was left at the scene implying that the killing of the three women was linked to their work with a non-governmental organization,” according to Reuters.

Aid workers, particularly women, have been the targets of Taliban-led attacks and some organizations have withdrawn staff due to Taliban threats.

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Associated Press 5/5/05; Agence France Presse 5/6/05; Reuters 5/5/05; IRIN News 5/3/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 5/3/05

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