Victory! Following the sentencing of Brishna’s rapist, Afghan authorities have now committed to ensuring Brishna’s protection.
In May 2014, Brishna, a 10-year-old girl from Kunduz province, was raped by a local mullah. She was able to receive medical treatment and protection thanks to the assistance of the organization Women for Afghan Women, but members of her family and community threatened to kill her and “dump her in the river” simply because she was a victim of this crime.
Rape survivors in Afghanistan are at risk of so-called “honor” killings as they are deemed to have brought ”shame” on their family and community.
In early October, Amnesty issued an Urgent Action calling on the Afghan authorities to protect Brishna from any further violence. Three weeks later, we issued another appeal urging that she be allowed to continue with her education, as she had been taken out of school.
After Brishna’s rapist was sentenced to a 20-year prison sentence on October 25, her male family members provided written guarantees that they would not harm Brishna, on condition of criminal punishment if they broke this guarantee. Yet Brishna was still at risk from her community without any assurances from the government.
After continual international outcry, including your renewed actions, Afghanistan’s Office of the President has contacted Amnesty International to inform us that authorities are closely monitoring Brishna’s case and have committed to ensure her safety. The authorities have acknowledged receiving hundreds of thousands of appeals from activists around the world urging them to take action on this case and ensure Brishna’s safety.
Amnesty International will continue monitoring Brishna’s situation and will work to address the ongoing discrimination against women and girls in Afghanistan. The authorities’ routine failure to protect survivors must be at the forefront of conversations and action to end violence against women and girls.
Learn how you can continue to use your voice to speak out against gender-based violence during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Join in this powerful movement to help ensure the safety of women and girls everywhere and to call on authorities to implement mechanisms and laws like IVAWA to prevent violence against women and girls.