A terrible event in Afghanistan.
In a first-of-its-kind incident in Kabul, which has shaken the collective conscience of the nation, a 23-year-old man set himself ablaze to protest against the harassment of women in this country.
Afghanistan is not a good place to be a woman, or a man who loves a woman.
Feroz, a student of law at Rahnaward University in northern Mazar e Sharif, loved Zohra, a student at Ariana University in Kabul.
They had been seeing each other for many years and had decided to settle down after graduation from university. Everything was going well until the hell broke loose.
Zohra, 19, was abducted by a group of local gangsters in Kabul recently and taken to an undisclosed location. She was allegedly gang-raped for 15 days before allowed to go.
Feroz tried to get government and security officials to do something, and got nowhere.
Disillusioned and devastated, Feroz decided to end his life. He left a note for his family that he is setting himself on fire in protest against official callousness and indifference.
A few days ago, he walked to presidential palace in the highly-fortified zone of Kabul and set himself ablaze. Despite the efforts to save him, Feroz succumbed to death.
His father, Abdul Saboor, says he sacrificed his life to send a strong message across that women in this country continue to suffer harassment and persecution.
“His death is a wake-up call to all those who believe everything is hunky dory in this country, and who chose not to speak against women’s harassment,” says the victim’s father.
H/t Lauryn Oates