In-laws in torture case get 10 years

May 5, 2012 at 4:45 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, May 5 (UPI) -- Three in-laws of a 15-year-old Afghan girl who was imprisoned and tortured by them were sentenced to 10 years in prison and subsequently appealed the ruling.

The three defendants in the case filed an appeal of Tuesday's sentencing, The New York Times reported.

Sahar Gul's mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law held her in a filthy basement bathroom in northern Baghlan province, where they burned her scalp, pulled out some of her nails and twisted the skin on her ear and nose with pliers because she refused to be a prostitute.

Police discovered the abuse after Gul's uncle and mother, who were visiting from Badakhshan province, reported it to them. The girl was freed from the family by police in late December.

On Tuesday, a court in Kabul sentenced the three to 10 years, said Sahar Gul's attorney, Mushtari Daqiq.

The girl's husband, a soldier in the Afghan National Army, is being sought by police for questioning and is still at large.

Gul, who was at the sentencing hearing, demanded her in-laws be sentenced to death, said Huma Safi, program manager of Women for Afghan Women.

"She said, 'I want them to be killed. They inhumanely tortured me,'" Safi said.

Heather Barr, an Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch, said appeals in the Afghan legal system are common and often result in a change of sentencing.

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