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HRW: More Afghan Women Jailed For 'Moral Crimes'

A prisoner looks out from a fenced window at the Female Detention Center in Kabul. (file photo)
Human Rights Watch says the number of Afghan women and girls jailed for "moral crimes" has risen by 50 percent in the past 18 months.

The international rights group says the increase suggests that Afghan authorities may feel they no longer need to support women's rights as international troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan next year.

The group presented its findings at a press conference in Kabul on May 21. It said 600 women are now imprisoned in Afghanistan for "moral crimes."

It said most of them were victims of sexual assault and family violence who had run away from their attackers.

It appealed to President Hamid Karzai to ban jailing girls for running away from home.

It also called on international donors to focus on preserving gains in women's rights after 2014.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan