Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The lot of women in prison in Afghanistan has improved slightly since the fall of the Taliban.

But, says prison warder Djamillah, life in prison has improved since five years of rule by the hardline Taliban ended last year under a US-led bombing campaign. "This prison was not always so full. Under the Taliban regime, the women imprisoned for adultery or other crimes were executed in the stadium by bullet or by stoning. When the Taliban ended, there were only two women left in prison. "We had many cases of women accused of having killed their husbands, but they were often covering up for their daughters who kill their fathers after being raped. We could do nothing for these women who were executed."

There are still issues that must be dealt with.

Today, according to Djamillah, the prison faces a number of problems, including "the women who want to die, the arrival of winter and the poor hygiene."

Some of the changes are drastic in the face of some of the most shocking images out of Taliban ruled Afghanistan.

Before the death penalty was always administered, says Momina Yari, but now "women are no longer executed, the most serious sentence is imprisonment for life. We are now using the Islamic constitution of Afghanistan of 1964. We are all Muslims and we must apply Islamic laws."

As in all Islamic countries with Sharia as the law of the land there are advances that need to be made but, it seems like there is an effort.

"We have worked hard to accomplish this, there are 35 female judges in the whole country," she said. Each of the 31 Afghan provinces has two judges. Nevertheless, Afghan laws, according to the magistrate, are "more modern than those applied in Iran, where a father can kill a daughter who runs off with a man."

< email | 10/02/2002 10:20:00 PM | link

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