Afghan Women Demand Rights - 16yo Girl Lashed by Muslim Clerics: Womens Rights Protest in Kabul
Over 100 women have taken to the streets of the Afghan capital Kabul demanding better protection of women's rights after the public flogging of a 16-year-old girl by a local cleric over alleged "illicit relations". The young girl was sentenced to 100 lashes earlier this month by three clerics in the south of the country, highlighting the increasingly precarious situation women face in Afghanistan. The older sister of the 16-year-old victim marched at the head of the demonstration and condemned the clerics' decision. Human Rights Watch researcher Heather Barr says that the Taliban's enduring influence means violence against women is hard to root out. Human Rights Watch researcher Heather Barr: "There are certainly parts of the country where the Taliban is making decisions about who should be punished and behaving as if they have their own courts, in a way which is not different from 2001 and it shows the limited capacity of the government to provide rule of law in areas that are controlled by the Taliban. This flogging case comes only months after a video emerged of a 22-year-old woman accused of adultery being shot dead to cheers of jubilation from a male crowd just over an hour's drive from Kabul. Human Rights Watch researcher Heather Barr: "There are a lot of cases happening in Afghanistan where there is violence against women, executions of women, beatings of women and the government doesn't seem to be doing its job in terms of providing justice in these cases ...