Afghan girl raped by police chief while reporting previous rape
An Afghan girl claims to have been raped by a police commissioner while she was at the police station to report being raped.
According to a report published by Reuters on Monday, Mariam, 18 years old, was abducted from her home in northern Afghanistan’s Balkh province earlier in the year and was raped by two men.
"When I went with my father to report the rape case, the police commissioner ordered my father to wait outside, and took me into his office where he also raped me," she said.
After the assault, the commissioner,Akram Zareh, told Mariam to "keep her mouth shut" or be killed.
A lack of female police officers in Afghanistan has resulted in most of the rape cases in the country to remain unreported. Research shows that eight out of every ten women in the country have in some manner been abused physically or sexually, but only a few thousand of the incidents are reported.
According to the human rights group Oxfam, even if a rape case is reported, it is seldom properly handled, and may even result in further abuse.
Zareh has denied any wrongdoing in this case and claims to be an honest officer of the law.
“I am 60. She is like my daughter…This is a plot against me," he said.
Mariam’s father has taken his daughter to the capital Kabul to draw attention to her plight and seek justice for it.
“My daughter said that she would burn herself alive, because she could not go out of the house and could not make eye contact with anyone due to shame," he said.
He has so far met with Afghanistan's attorney general who has vowed to investigate her claims.
"Respecting her privacy, the attorney general asked Mariam to tell her story to a special female anti-violence officer in private," said the attorney general’s spokesman.
"After hearing the case, the attorney general appointed the Balkh provincial prosecutor and a special military prosecutor to investigate and present their findings as soon as possible," he added.
Miriam has vowed to stay in the capital until she gains justice, Zareh is still the district police commissioner and is being investigated in another rape case.