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Afghan ‘Woman of Courage’ hailed by Michelle Obama for defending women’s rights has actually JAILED 100 wives for ‘adultery’

More than 50% of women jailed for adultery  in Afghanistan come from province prosecuted by Ms Bashir –  which holds just 20% of the population

By Eddie Wrenn

 

Last year she was hailed as one of the most  influential people in the world – a defender of women’s rights as Afghanistan’s  only female head prosecutor.

Ms Bashir has been lauded by both  Michelle  Obama and Hilary Clinton – and she was one of ten women to receive a ‘Women of  Courage’ Award in Washington last year.

But Maria Bashir’s reputation is now in doubt  after the Times revealed that Ms Bashir is also the most prolific prosecutor of  women for Afghanistan’s so-called ‘moral’ crimes, such as adultery.

While Ms Bashir campaigns against abuse  husbands, more than half of the 172 women jailed in Afghanistan for sex outside  of marriage (known as ‘zina’) have come from her province.

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan 

Defender or jailer? Maria Bashir, pictured with with  First Lady Michelle Obama U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has jailed  more than 100 women for adultery in Afghanistan

The Herat province’s population stands at an  estimated 1.7million, and Afghanistan as a whole has a population of  35million.

Last week Ms Bashir, who became lead  prosecutor in 2006, and has prosecuted nearly a thord of the 78 women jailed for  murder in Afghanistan, was promoted to become Herat’s  attorney-general.

The Times said diplomats are ‘shocked’ by the  extraordinary tally of women imprisoned for adultery.

It further says that 101 out of 136 women  serving in Herat’s women jail are there for adultery, one of the moral crimes  which campaigners for women’s rights are trying to remove from  Afghanistan.

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last year 

Two sides: Maria Bashir, attorney general of Herat  comforting Arefa, a victim of domestic violence, in Herat, Afghanistan, last  year

When she received her award, the two  presidential wives said: ‘Ms Bashir has waged a determined campaign against  crime and corruption.

‘She stands out as a champion of judicial  transparency and women’s rights, and exemplifies the resilience of Afghan  women.’

When the Times contacted Ms Bashir, she said  she was unaware that her prosecution rate was so much higer than other  provinces, but blamed it on her province’s closeness to the border with  Iran.

She said: ‘If it is higher it’s because we  are bordered with Iran, which culturally influences Afghans.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2221316/Woman-Courage-hailed-Michelle-Obama-defending-womens-rights-jailed-100-wives-adultery-Afghanistan.html#ixzz2A4XMAF37 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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