Afghanistan: Prosecute those responsible for the rape and murder of 16-year-old Shakila Bakhsh

In January 2012 Shakila Bakhsh, a 16-year-old Afghan girl was raped and murdered in central Bamyan. Her body was found at the home of an influential member of the Bamyan Provincial Council, Mr. Mohammad Hadi Wahidi Bihishti, and nearly two years later, no one has been held accountable. Violence against women and girls remains endemic in Afghanistan, and Shakila’s family maintains that Mr. Bihishti is responsible, but that he is not being fully investigated due to his influential position within the Provincial Council. Additionally, in May 2012, the Court of Appeal highlighted a number of failings in the investigation, including police procedures not being followed correctly, and attempts to tamper with crime scene evidence and frame an innocent man.

Equality Now is seriously concerned about the lack of investigation in this case and the widespread instances of violence against women and girls in Afghanistan that go unpunished, in particular when they involve influential suspects. Please join us in calling on the Afghanistan authorities to ensure that a full and fair investigation is undertaken into the death of Shakila Bakhsh and that the perpetrator/s of her rape and murder are prosecuted without delay. Also urge the Afghan government to ensure that robust systems are put in place to prevent all violence against women and girls.

Minister of Interior Affairs Mr. Umar Daudzai

Minister of Justice Mr. Habibullah Ghalib

President Karzai