Afghanistan's women languishing in prisons 10 years after fall of Taliban

Afghanistan's women languishing in prisons 10 years after fall of Taliban

The figures emerged as diplomats gathered in Bonn to review ten years of intervention in Afghanistan and make new pledges as Nato combat troops complete a withdrawal by 2015.

Western countries including Britain have poured tens of millions of pounds into the Afghan justice system and the women are often held in prisons built with international aid money.

But the lofty declarations made a decade ago in the same city to help women repressed by the Taliban have not, according to activists, been fulfilled.

The Afghan justice system remains heavily stacked against women in a deeply socially conservative culture.

Human Rights Watch, which has interviewed more than 50 female prisoners for a forthcoming report on the issue, found women who had tried to flee arranged marriages, beatings and husbands who had forced them into prostitution, only to be then prosecuted.

Heather Barr, the organisation’s Afghanistan researcher, said: “It’s devastating...
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