The sun beats down on the snow streaked peaks, the winding river and the neat, square compounds of sandstone. It lights up the valley, the mountains, the villages, and the two women whose bodies swing from nooses in a tree. This is Afghanistan. It is 2013.
On 27th November 2013, the dead bodies of two women were found hanging from a tree in Logar province, Afghanistan. Not much is known about these women. According to the spokesperson of the governor of Logar, one of the women may have been over forty years of age and the other in her twenties. They have not yet been identified, and nor has the reason behind their murder. They were hanged naked.
Who were these women? Were they mother and daughter? Were they two wives of a common husband? Were they fresh victims of an honor killing? No details have yet emerged about them or why they were hanged and it’s possible that they never will. However, the circumstances of their hanging suggest that some sort of perverted justice was meted out–and there is a wealth of cases which illustrate the types of misdemeanor for which such punishments would be thought appropriate by the religious hardliners dominate many parts of this country.
Unfortunately, cases such as these are very common in Afghanistan, where women and girls are abused, raped and killed on a daily basis. It is extremely uncommon that anyone is held accountable for miscarriages of justice such as this. Due to corruption in the courts and the police service, Afghanistan’s justice system mostly serves the rich and powerful men in the country.
More than a decade after the fall of the Taliban, women and girls are still being openly attacked by the Taliban and other extremist groups for the ‘crimes’ of working outside the house, going to school or simply for speaking up for their basic rights.