Amnesty International has condemned the reported beheading of a young Afghan woman in Herat Province for refusing to be forced into prostitution by her in-laws.
“The tragic fate of Mah Gul is one more incident that highlights the violent atmosphere that women and girls face in Afghanistan and the region," said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA executive director. "They are raped, killed, forced into marriage in childhood, prevented from obtaining an education and denied their sexual and reproductive rights. Until basic human rights are guaranteed to women and girls in the region, these horrible abuses will continue to be committed."
Nossel called on the Afghan government to enforce a 2009 law on eliminating violence against women, which the rights organization said is still only sporadically enforced.
Nossel said the international community "must play its part" to ensure women's rights are respected as Afghanistan assumes responsibility for its security.
International combat forces are scheduled to leave the country by the end of 2014, handing over control to Afghan security forces.