Her Husband Cut Off Her Nose When She Protested His Decision To Marry A Child

Photo: Hasan Sirdash/Getty Images.
Update: More details have emerged about the young woman who had her nose cut off by her husband in Afghanistan, The New York Times and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission report.

Reza Gul, 20, was attacked by her husband on Sunday after arguing with him over his decision to take a 6- or 7-year-old niece as his fiancée, Gul's mother, Zarghona, told the Times. Gul's husband, Muhammad Khan, 25, then allegedly cut off her nose with a knife. Khan and his family had beaten and abused Gul throughout her six-year marriage, Zarghona added.

Gul brought her severed nose with her to the hospital on Monday and had already lost a lot of blood, according to hospital officials. But the local Afghan facility was not equipped to reattach her nose. Gul is seeking to travel to Turkey to have reconstructive surgery, according to the the Times. A police official told the Times that the Taliban had arrested Khan and is holding him in custody.

According to the U.N.
, Afghanistan remains one of the worst places to be a woman, and violence against women remains "endemic." Child marriages, like the one Khan was said to be arranging, are also common, robbing girls of the opportunity for education and often leading to abuse.

This story was originally published on January 19, 2015.

In 2010, Time magazine ran a cover featuring an 18-year-old woman named Aesha Mohammadzai. The brave young woman had agreed to pose for the magazine to draw the world's attention to a brutal practice happening in her home country of Afghanistan: the cutting off of women's noses and ears as punishment. Aesha had her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban after she fled from her in-laws, who had abused her.

Five years later, women in Afghanistan are still facing the same horrific abuse. On Tuesday, officials announced that a 20-year-old Afghan woman had come to the hospital after having her nose cut off, allegedly by her husband.

On Monday, Reza Gul was brought to the Afghan-Turk Hospital in Maymana, the capital of Afghanistan's Faryab province, after her nose was allegedly cut off by her 25-year-old husband, Mohammad Khan. The hospital director, Fawzia Salimi, told the Associated Press that the hospital was making arrangements for Gul to be taken to Turkey for further treatment. Gul had lost a lot of blood, hospital officials told the AP.

In Faryab, where Gul was attacked, violence has risen by at least 30% in the past year. Taliban presence in Faryab has also increased in the past year, according to AP. Authorities are searching for Khan, who apparently fled the region after the attack.

AP notes that many Afghan women are victims of domestic violence because constitutional rights for protection are often denied to women in the country. And progress toward achieving rights for women is often met with significant resistance. This month, women were not invited to join the Afghan delegation during peace talks aimed at ending the country's decades-long conflict.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited the Associated Press in identifying Gul as being 22 years old. On Tuesday, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission identified Gul as being 20 years old, not 22.

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