Even Afghan women are outraged by sale of 6-year-old girl in marriage to 55-year-old imam in exchange for a goat

About 40 days ago Gharibgol was forced to marry the mullah of Obeh, the village where she lives with her family. She was sold to him by her father in exchange for a goat, a bag of rice, tea, sugar, and a few litres of cooking oil.

The six-year-old girl (centre) was forced to marry a 55-year-old man after her father allegedly sold her in exchange for a goat in Afghanistan

The six-year-old girl (centre) was forced to marry a 55-year-old man after her father allegedly sold her in exchange for a goat in Afghanistan

Observers  (h/t Terry D) After their marriage, her husband took her to Firozkoh, in Ghor province, to stay at a distant relative’s house. This host first thought that Gharibgol was the mullah’s daughter. But then the host realized that he was undressing her at night. [Editor’s Note: According to tests later carried out by Ghor hospital, there was no sexual intercourse.]

So he asked the mullah: she’s not your daughter? The mullah replied: no, she’s my wife; her father gave her to me. The host told a friend, who called the local women rights bureau for Ghor province. The bureau called the police.

Footage shows the father's arrest (pictured), with local women hitting and admonishing him

Footage shows the father’s arrest (pictured), with local women hitting and admonishing him

The next day, on July 31, police arrested the mullah, and then went to arrest Gharibgol’s father in his village. But before they took him away, local women attacked him and beat him up. He tried to defend himself by saying that the mullah had promised he wouldn’t sleep with his daughter until she was 18.

Gharibgol is now living with her mother in a safe house in Firozkoh. Negineh Khalili, the head of the women’s rights bureau for Ghor province, told me she will do her best to make sure that her father loses his parental rights and that Gharibgol is granted a divorce.

This is just one of so many acts of violence against girls in Afghanistan. Most don’t make the news. But there have been a few cases that shocked the nation lately: one was the case of Zahra, a girl who was forced to marry at the age of eight. At age 18, last month, she was burned to death after by her husband’s family after a dispute with her parents.

Then there was Rokhshana, 19, who was stoned to death (below) last year. She had been married when she was underage and was accused of having sexual relationship with a boy of her own age. A video of her stoning drew shock from around the world.

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