A 15-year-old Afghan girl who was tortured for months after her arranged marriage has spoken out for the first time since her rescue, saying she hopes her husband and his family are jailed for her abuse.
Sahar Gul became the bruised and bloodied face of women’s rights in Afghanistan after she was rescued in late December when an uncle called police.
Speaking in an interview from a hospital in Kabul, Gul blamed her husband, his parents and his sister for her ordeal.
“I want them to be in jail,” she said. “They gave me electric shock. … They beat me with cables and tortured me.”
She is being treated for multiple injuries that include broken fingers and ripped-out fingernails.
Police in Baghlan province where Gul was rescued have said her in-laws locked her up and tortured her after she refused to work as a prostitute. Her husband’s parents and sister have been arrested. They deny any wrongdoing.
Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for her husband, who serves in the Afghan army.
Her doctor, Feriba Omarzada, said Gul was recovering but was still traumatised.
Guls’ story has shocked Afghanistan and prompted calls for more efforts to end underage marriage. The legal marriage age in Afghanistan is 16, but the United Nations agency UN Women estimates that half of all girls are forced to marry under age 15.