Sold into marriage at 12 for $5,000, Sahar Gul lived in a house of horrors. Her in-laws chained her in the basement, beat her with red-hot iron pipes, starved her and pulled out all her fingernails when she refused to prostitute herself for them.
She was rescued by her relatives and the police and her attackers sentenced to 10 years, but a lower judge just set them free one year later.
Now, the Lower House of Afghan Parliament just passed a bill that would ban family members from testifying in court. Because family members are usually the only witnesses of the aggressions, this would prevent countless children and women from ever getting justice, says the Avaaz community. Afghan women’s rights groups have been actively supporting Sahar Gul’s case and working to ensure that relatives aren’t banned from testifying against victim’s aggressors. They are urging members of parliament to stop the bill from becoming law.