Monday, April 16, 2012

A Travesty You Are Paying For

By Hos
This horrid tale of violence, corruption, and censorship is downright surreal. What is worse, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
The European Union commissioned a movie called "Justice" on the situation of women in Afghanistan, by producer Clementine Malpas. Oddly enough, the EU itself has now banned it. The above video is part of that documentary, plus some commentary. It is in Dutch, with Farsi captions (plus the interview with Malpas in English). So I could decipher most of it.
The subject of the movie is women guilty of "moral" crimes. These include rape victims, fugitives from abusive relationships, and those falling in love without the approval of their male relatives. According to UN figures, over half of women imprisoned in Afghanistan are behind bars for such "crimes". According to the producer, in some prisons outside Kabul, number are up to 80% of prisoners if not more.
Gulnaz, 19, is an Afghan woman and rape victim. She was jailed (along with her attacker) for having the temerity to denounce him.
Apparently this is not legal, even in Afghanistan. But according to the producer of the documentary, the judge and prosecutor had their palms greased, by the family of the rapist.
She became pregnant as a result of the rape, and gave birth in jail. The Afghan head of state, Hamid Karzai, apparently "pardoned" her after she agreed to marry the attacker, and they were both freed.
Recent legislation in Afghanistan has required respect for women's right, but that is only on paper. Recently a woman and her daughter were stoned to death, closed to a governor's office.
The excuse for banning the movie is that it may "endanger the women in prison". But that is funny. According to the interview at least, the women themselves were fine with the screening of the documentary.
For Gulnaz, the release of the documentary is beside the point. She has to marry her rapist. But the rapist's family hate her for denouncing him, and have vowed to kill her, and her daughter.
The producer will not speak on why her movie is banned, and says she is bound by contract.
But it is not hard to speculate on EU's real motives. After all, most EU nations are members of NATO as well, and in fact they are the ones shoring up the corrupt and vile regime in Afghanistan.
And so are we.

1 comment:

Don Wharton said...

Primitive societies tend to substantial cruelties as standard practice. A major problem is that we have no agreed upon mechanism to prove a policy or principle is better than another.

Making this obvious with Afganistan is quite compelling.