(BBC) A 23-year-old Afghan woman has described to the BBC how her husband tied her up and cut off both her ears in a domestic violence attack in the northern province of Balkh.
The woman – Zarina – is now in a stable but traumatised condition in hospital.
“I haven’t committed any sin,” she said. “I don’t know why my husband did this to me.”
The woman’s husband is on the run in Kashinda district following the attack, police have told local media.
Zarina told Pajhwok news that the unprovoked attack took place after her husband suddenly woke her up.
She told the BBC that she got married at the age of 13 and that “relations with her husband were not good”.
In another interview with Tolo News, Zarina complained that her husband had tried to prevent her from seeing her parents. She said that she no longer wanted to remain married to him.
“He is a very suspicious man and often accused me of talking to strange men when I went to visit my parents,” she said.
She has demanded his arrest and prosecution.
Her account is the latest in a series of high-profile domestic abuse incidents and cases of violence against women in Afghanistan:
- In January 2016, a young woman, Reza Gul, had her nose cut off by her husband in the remote Ghormach district of north-western Faryab province
- In November 2015, a young woman was stoned to death in Ghor province after she was accused of adultery
- In March 2015 a young Kabul woman, Farkhunda, was beaten and burnt to death by a mob over false allegations she had burnt a Koran
- In September 2014, a man cut off part of his wife’s nose with a kitchen knife in central Daykundi Province, according to police. It is not clear whether he was ever caught
- In 2010, the case of Aisha featured on the front cover of Time magazine, after the 18-year-old was mutilated by her husband who cut off her nose and ears as punishment for running away
The Afghan government has repeatedly tried to introduce laws to protect women from domestic abuse.
But President Hamid Karzai during his time in power was unable – or unwilling – to sign off legislation even though it had been approved by both houses of parliament.
In 2014 for example he ordered changes to draft legislation that critics said would severely limit justice for victims.
Mr Karzai’s successor, Ashraf Ghani, has also not yet given his assent to legislation passed by the lower house of the Afghan parliament in November – and the upper house in December – which was drafted to protect women and children from violence and harassment.