Afghanistan, the Land of Unknown and Silent Elahas

A few months ago, reports and videos of Elaha Delawarzai, an Afghan girl who had been forced to marry Saeed Khusti, a member of the Haqqani network, went viral. This highlighted the disastrous state of human and women‘s rights in Afghanistan. The case was quickly brought under control and closed, as the ruling regime does not allow for independent investigations. There is no free press in Afghanistan, and human rights organizations have stopped their activities there, while the judicial system serves only the interests of the Taliban. It is difficult for such cases to be made public due to a decree from the Taliban leader that states that nobody has the right to publicly criticize the Taliban leadership.

Is Elaha‘s circumstances unique, or are there other girls in similar situations? Are other girls safe from being enslaved by local commanders? Are the wives of Taliban leaders all of legal age and married with consent? It has been reported that Taliban foot soldiers rape girls and women who resist them in certain areas. The Taliban have promised other terrorist organizations such as Ansarullah of Tajikistan and Islamic movement of Uzbekistan to take Afghan women as prize of war. Unfortunately, extreme poverty makes families more vulnerable to such violence and abuse.

In addition to the brutality of the ruling regime and the poverty of the people, the situation is further complicated by the cruel culture of the Afghan people, who blame the victim instead of the criminal. Victims are often shamed and harshly judged instead of being shown sympathy. This malicious culture encourages the criminal to continue their actions, while the victim loses their social status, honor, and dignity, and their life becomes meaningless.

Culture must change, and society must learn to sympathize with victims and punish criminals. The legal system should try the criminal, and society should condemn their actions. People should give shame to the perpetrators of such acts, not to the victim who is already broken. The victim should be encouraged to speak out and exercise their rights. The public must sympathize with Elaha Delawarzai and condemn Saeed Khusti and all criminals like him, by any means possible, because they deserve this hatred.