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Offer: Human Rights Watch Report: The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for "Moral Crimes" in Afghanistan

From Human Rights Watch (

"I Had to Run Away": The Imprisonment of Women and Girls for “Moral Crimes” in Afghanistan

This 120-page report is based on 58 interviews conducted in three prisons and three juvenile detention facilities with women and girls accused of “moral crimes.” Almost all girls in juvenile detention in Afghanistan had been arrested for “moral crimes,” while about half of women in Afghan prisons were arrested on these charges. These “crimes” usually involve flight from unlawful forced marriage or domestic violence. Some women and girls have been convicted of zina, sex outside of marriage, after being raped or forced into prostitution.

The fall of the Taliban government in 2001 promised a new era of women’s rights. Significant improvements have occurred in education, maternal mortality, employment, and the role of women in public life and governance. Yet the imprisonment of women and girls for “moral crimes” is just one sign of the difficult present and worrying future faced by Afghan women and girls as the international community moves to decrease substantially its commitments in Afghanistan.

Download the Full Report
Summary and Recommendations in Dari
Summary and Recommendations in Pashto
Purchase this report in print

Table of Contents
“I Had To Run Away”
Map of Afghanistan
Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
Key Recommendations
I. Women’s Rights since the End of Taliban Rule
II. The Crimes of “Running Away” and Zina
III. Case Studies of “Running Away” and Zina
IV. Injustice at Every Stage: The Role of Judges,
Prosecutors, Police
V. Relevant Afghan and International Law
VI. Recommendations

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