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Taliban not responsible for cutting Aisha's nose, ears: AIHRC

by Ahmad Omed Khpalwak


December 6, 2010

TIRINKOT (PAN): The Taliban were not behind the slicing off of a woman’s nose and ears in central Uruzgan province, chief of the human rights commission said on Monday.

The story of how Aisha Bibi, 19, was mutilated as punishment for running away from her abusive husband and in-laws a year ago caused an international outcry. She was given refuge by an Afghan non-governmental organization, and sent to the US for reconstructive surgery and psychological treatment.

Much of the western media blamed the Taliban for the brutal act, saying Aisha’s husband was a Taliban member and he and his father had orchestrated the punishment. The Taliban, however, denied any involvement.

On Monday, Abdul Ghaffar Stanakzay, head of the AIHRC in Uruzgan, also absolved the Taliban after what he said was a "thorough investigation of the case".

"This was because of domestic violence which Aisha fell victim to," he told reporters.

Aisha’s father in law, Sulaiman, was arrested last week. The provincial council chief, Juma Gul Himmat, said he had confessed to holding Aisha down while someone else cut her. But Suliaman denies ever confessing.

Sulaiman said Aisha had run away from his home four times.

"Once, police even arrested her in Kandahar," he said.

After the last time, he handed her back to her father, Mohammadzai.

"This was a stigma. I left the country and went to Pakistan," he said.

After that, Sulaiman claimed he had no information about how his daughter-in-law’s nose and ear were cut. However, he did not rule out his son, Qudratullah’s, involvement, or even Aisha’s father.

"I swear to God, Aisha's father asked me to kill her but I refused."

Mohammadzai, however, strongly denied he had ordered the killing of his own daughter.

He admitted he had sent Aisha back to her husband but said three days later, "I saw my daughter without a nose and ears".

He blamed Sulaiman for the attack and said he feared the law would not punish him.

"I have to leave the country because my life is at stake; Haji Sulaiman can be released anytime."

He asked the international community to bring his daughter back from the US to her own house in the province.

Mohammadzai also denied the Taliban's hand in the incident.

Aisha was 12 when she was married, below the legal minimum age of 16.


:: Article nr. 72562 sent on 06-dec-2010 22:13 ECT


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