23-year-old Afghan woman is still hospitalised after her husband cut off her ears during an attack in the remote district of Balkh province, bordering Uzbekistan.
Zarina told AFP last Thursday that she could not explain why her husband attacked her in the middle of the night Tuesday, January 31.
“He woke up at three in the morning, he tied my legs, my hands with my veil … I was begging him to stop but he didn’t listen to me.” said Zarina, whose mutilated ears were bandaged and her face swollen.
The husband punched his young wife several times then grabbed a sharp knife and sliced both her ears before disappearing.
Zarina bled all night, until a neighbour found her in the morning and rushed her to relatives, who took her to hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province.
“She arrived at the ICU at 9.30, both of her ears were cut. She was in shock … imagine how much blood she lost,” said hospital chief Dr Shafir Shayek.
Zarina said she did not know why her husband attacked her, saying she had always obeyed him, even when he refused to let her visit her mother “because he said I might meet boys”.
“He was very rude, very harsh, when he became angry he started beating everyone — his dad, his mum, he didn’t care,” she said.
Zarina and her husband were betrothed when she was 13, though they did not marry for another seven years. Hospital officials said he was known for drug use, though they did not specify which drug.
“The man was still on the run, but we opened an investigation to stop him,” said Balkh governor’s spokesman Sher Jan Durrani.
Zarina said she is seeking private donations to fund a trip abroad for treatment. If she cannot raise the money, she said, “I implore Afghan officials” for help.
Balkh women’s rights activist Fahima Rahimi said the attack was “only the latest” example of “disgusting violence” and against Afghan women.
“Afghan officials should bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice so that it be a lesson for others,” she said.
But, she added, many such criminals are freed after bribes to police or prosecutors, and so activists had “lost faith and trust in our government”.