Prosecutions for Afghan acid attacks failing women
Summary of story from Care2, December 11, 2011
A recent acid attack in Afghanistan has highlighted the shortcomings of a new law to protect women from gender-based violence.
The attack against a mother and her three daughters took place after one of the perpetrators had asked to marry one of the girls. The father refused, saying she was too young (see WVoN story).
Under the Elimination of Violence Against Women act passed last year the crime carries a sentence of at least ten years in prison.
The men involved in this attack, who are suspected of being members of a local militia, have since been brought to the capital by the Interior Ministry for investigation and potential prosecution.
“The attackers defamed Afghanistan in the eyes of the world,” said the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqui, and he said that the Afghan police were warning “those who commit such brutal acts that they will be brought to justice at any cost.”
But since Afghanistan enacted the law banning violence against women and specifically prohibiting chemical attacks there have been 2,299 complaints of gender-motivated abuse registered with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission from March 2010 to March 2011 – and only 7 per cent of those crimes have been prosecuted.