In a village in Afghanistan what? Not a potluck. Not a Chatauqua lecture. Not a quilting bee. Not heartwarming stories of crotchety but lovable neighbors and mischievous but lovable children and the dogs who love them all. No, the other thing – staring eyes, a woman who dishonored the universe by running away with a man (while the man simply had a good time), a father who asked the local “religious leaders” for advice, a fatwa, a mob, a murder of a woman by her own father in front of that mob.
The woman, who has two children, was shot dead on Monday 22 April by her father in front of a crowd of about 300 people in the village of Kookchaheel, in the Aabkamari district of Badghis province in north-western Afghanistan.
The woman, named Halima and believed to be between 18 and 20 years old, was accused of running away with a male cousin while her husband was in Iran. Her cousin returned Halima to her relatives 10 days after running away with her. His whereabouts are unknown.
“Violence against women continues to be endemic in Afghanistan and those responsible very rarely face justice,” said Horia Mosadiq, Afghanistan researcher at Amnesty International.
The killing came after three of the village’s religious leaders, allegedly linked to the Taliban, issued a fatwa (religious edict) that Halima should be killed publicly, after her father sought their advice about his daughter’s elopement.