News - Afghanistan
A young mother is in Fayzabad hospital after being rescued with her malnourished newborn from severe abuse by her husband and his family in north-east Badakhashan province.
Gulsom, 20, was discovered by the provincial health team during a routine visit to her village in the Teshkan district last week with clear signs of physical abuse understood to be inflicted by her husband and his second wife.
Footage received by TOLOnews shows Gulsom with an inflamed face and a baby suffering from malnutrition. Although the exact age of her baby is unclear, the health team believe that the child is premature with early labour brought on by the beatings Gulsom received. She is understood to have been married for about four years.
Badakhshan provincial human rights director Wahidullah Arghon told TOLOnews on Monday that Gulsom claims she has been kept in a dark room for several days, possibly weeks, by her husband's family while her husband had another wife. She was only fed loaves of bread.
"We conveyed the situation to the intelligence department as well as the police and the prosecution department to send a team to investigate the case," Arghon said, adding that local officials have not taken any steps to follow up Gulsom's case.
Badakhshan civil society activists said that violence against women is increasing.
"She [Gulsom] was in an emergency situation and there was a possibility she would die if she was left in that same situation. She didn't have any companions. The team brought her here [to the hospital]," social activist Sebghatullah Khaksar said Monday.
According to Khaksar, Gulsom delivered the baby 15 days ago.
It is the second time in less than a year that a woman in Afghanistan was found imprisoned and tortured by the family she married into.
The case of 15-year-old Sahar Gul received worldwide attention after she was discovered in northern Baghlan province last December being tortured by her husband and in-laws for refusing to prostitute herself.
Forced marriage and child marriage are considered to greatly increase the risk of abuse against women.