Taliban Court Forcefully Marries Imprisoned Girl To Group Member

Saturday, 05/25/2024

A Taliban court in Parwan forcefully married Shahpari, a 25-year-old imprisoned girl, with a member of the group.

Relatives of Shahpari told Afghanistan International that the Taliban detained her six months ago on kidnapping charges in Parwan and subsequently, the group’s urban court sentenced her to three years in prison. The Taliban have not provided information about her charges and the forced marriage.

Relatives told Afghanistan International that Shahpari was forcibly married off by a Taliban city court judge while she was sentenced to three years in prison. Sajjad, Shahpari’s brother, said that the Taliban member named Raihan has since confined Shahpari inside a house in the Ghorband Valley. According to Sajjad, Shahpari has managed to make several phone calls to her family requesting for her rescue during this time.

Shahpari, originally from Dasht-e-Barchi in Kabul, had her relatives approach the Taliban courts in Parwan after receiving her phone calls. Her brother told Afghanistan International that this Taliban member works for a local Taliban media outlet in Parwan and was married to another women too.

Complaints in Taliban Courts

Shahpari’s mother, in a complaint letter obtained by Afghanistan International to the Taliban appellate court in Parwan, wrote, “My daughter Shahpari, a single woman, who was sentenced to five years of imprisonment by the Islamic Emirate’s Sharia court, was serving her time in Parwan prison.”

Her mother further wrote, “Shahpari was not ready for marriage, but the prison officials and the court gave her away to a husband.” Quoting her daughter, the mother stated that Shahpari is currently in house arrest at a private residence by an unknown person.

According to a document obtained by Afghanistan International, Mufti Abdul Wali Halim, the head of the Taliban appellate court in Parwan, wrote in a letter to the urban court’s criminal panel, “Consider the contents of the complaint and proceed according to procedural and investigation principles.”

Sajjad said that the Taliban initially told them Shahpari was sentenced to five years for kidnapping but later, upon their approach to the Taliban city court in Parwan, announced her sentence was three years. He added that they do not have access to the case details or the specifics of the charges against Shahpari, and the Taliban have only informed the family of the charge and the duration of imprisonment. He also said the Taliban did not inform them about the forced marriage.

Sajjad added that his sister had gone to a friend’s house in Parwan province and was arrested by the Taliban on kidnapping charges.

Threats and Forced Religious Conversion

Sajjad, Shahpari’s brother, said that after receiving a phone call from his sister, he approached the Taliban city court. He said that the judge of this court threatened them with imprisonment and forcibly expelled them from the office.

Sajjad added, “We told the Taliban city judge to bring Shahpari and her husband and if my sister was happy with this marriage, we would have no problem. However, the Taliban judge refused to do so.”

Sajjad said, “I also spoke with Raihan, a Taliban member, but he warned me not to make any more phone calls to Shahpari and claimed that Shahpari is his lawful wife.”

The brother also said that this Taliban member has pressured Shahpari to convert from “Shia to Sunni” sect of Islam after the forced marriage.

Last month, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom reported that the religious freedom of minorities, including Shiites, has been violated in Afghanistan.

Recently, the US Department of State in its annual human rights report stated that 16 women out of 90 imprisoned in the provinces of Jowzjan, Faryab, and Samangan became pregnant after being raped by Taliban members.

The US Department of State also stated that the Taliban have executed at least four women in Samangan after repeated rapes by its members.

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