An extraordinary event has taken place inside a Kabul courtroom this week. 5 short months ago a 10 year old girl was raped inside a mosque in a remote Afghan village. The mullah responsible for this abominable act has been jailed.
The mullah, Mohammad Amin, had asked three young girls to clean for him when he started behaving inappropriately. The three girls ran as soon as Amin became increasingly inappropriate; one of the girls slipped. The girl fell into a stream which is where Amin found her. He dragged her back into the mosque where she was raped and left with serious injuries.
The mullah attempted to rely on Sharia Law in court; under Sharia law rape is considered a form of adultery for which both parties are responsible. The defence attorney and team for Amin argued that he should receive 100 lashes and be set free. The truly sickening part about this was that they also demanded that the raped 10 year old be subjected to the same punishment.
Judge Mohammad Suliman Rasuli would slam Amin’s defence, pointing out that the victim “cannot commit adultery; she is a child. This is rape.” Instead, the judge, sentenced Amin to 20 years in prison.
Hassina Sarwari, who runs a shelter for women in northern Kunduz province, where the rape took place, said on Sunday that if the trial had not been transferred to Kabul the result would probably have been very different. “If the case would have not been transferred to Kabul, we were so worried that the mullah would have not been punished in Kunduz for his crime,” said Sarwari
Human rights campaigners have welcomed the judge’s stance on the case, especially after reports came to light alleging that the girl’s family had considered killing her because of the shame that had been brought upon the family. This practice, known as an ‘honour killing’, is a relatively common occurrence for rape victims in Afghanistan, where rape was not even a crime until a landmark law was brought in to eliminate violence against women and girls in 2009.
During the trial, the girl kept her face covered, but wept behind her veil, as the prosecutor read out the Mullah’s confession and the report detailing her injuries. However, at the point where Amin tried to claim she had seduced him, she pulled aside her veil and spoke to him directly. “Hey liar, hey liar,” she said. “God hate you, you are dirt, you are dirt, you are a vampire.”
The girl, who was not called upon to speak, insisted she be heard, and also said, “You shamed me, liar, you destroyed my life, you brought shame to my father.” Addressing the judge, she said, “Please, director, hang him.”
The mullah was not hanged for his crime. How can a man who raped an innocent girl claim seduction with a straight face; a man who was educated in theology and sacred law. 20 years in prison is not long enough for such a man.