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Published On: Sun, Jul 15th, 2012

Woman and her two children, beheaded in latest Muslim honor killing

The Reuters article noted that this latest crime is part of a “rapidly growing trend of so-called honour killings.”

Police said they suspected the woman Serata’s divorced husband of barging into her house, murdering her, their eight-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter.

Beheading by Islamic Prophet Muhammads cousin Ali of Nadir Ibn harith Public Domain/over 70 years old

“The children saw the killer take their mother’s head off, so he killed them too,” a local policeman told Reuters, adding that the attacker had spared Sereta’s two-year-old daughter.

Activists say there has been a sharp rise in violent attacks on women in Afghanistan over the past year.

Excluding Serata’s beheading, there have been 16 cases of “honour killings” recorded across the country over March and April, the first two months of the Afghan new year, according to Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

President Hamid Karzai is facing criticism and blame that he is neglecting attention to women’s rights as his government prepares for the exit of most foreign troops in 2014 and seeks to negotiate with the Taliban, Afghanistan’s former Islamist rulers.

This compares to the 20 cases recorded for all of last year, said commissioner Suraya Subhrang, blaming increased insecurity and weak rule of law for the sharp rise. Since AIHRC started recording such killings in 2001, there have never been more than 20 cases a year.

“And there are many that go unreported. Men make a quick decision in their own courts to kill a girl and hold a prayer for her the next day,” Subhrang told Reuters.

Serata divorced her husband Mohammad Arif, 38, a year ago after enduring almost a decade of domestic abuse, said Shukria Wali, head of Ghazni’s department of women’s affairs, which is attached to the ministry in Kabul.

Police said they were still hunting for Arif. Violent crimes against women often go unpunished in Afghanistan, with activists blaming police carelessness, corruption and a growing atmosphere of impunity.

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