Women jailed for ‘moral crimes’ in Afghanistan

The number of women and girls in Afghanistan imprisoned for “moral crimes” has risen by 50% in the past 18 months, a rights group says. Human Rights Watch says many are jailed for running away from home, often from forced marriages or domestic violence. Others are behind bars as a result of alleged adultery, in truth often involving rape, it said.

It said 600 women and girls were now imprisoned for “moral crimes”. About 110 of those were girls under 18.

Many of those detained for so-called moral crimes had attempted to report rapes to police only to be arrested for adultery, while others fleeing forced marriages or abuse were jailed for running away from home – even though that is not a crime according to the Afghan criminal code. And many of those accused of “moral crimes” were subjected to “virginity tests” with no medical basis which contravened international law.

Pray for justice for these women who are marginalized by laws and traditions that are abusive and destructive to identity.

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