Crime

Afghan Man Who Cut off Bride's Nose Arrested

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

An Afghan man -- who allegedly helped cut off his own daughter-in-law's nose and ears after she fled an abusive arranged marriage -- has been arrested and charged with mutilation.

The woman, Aisha, appeared on the cover of TIME Magazine's August 9 issue, and sparked international outcry. She said she fled her village because her in-laws beat and abused her. She was captured and brought back to the village, where her father-in-law, Suleiman, held a gun to her head. Then her husband and brother-in-law cut off her nose and ears, after approval by the local Taliban mullah. Suleiman showed off her amputated nose to other villagers.

Aisha fled to a women's shelter in Kabul. After her case was publicized, the Grossman Burn Center in California paid for her to be fitted with a prosthetic nose in the United States (see picture below). Before she has plastic surgery, the Burn Center advised that she deal with her post-traumatic stress. She is currently living in Brooklyn, NY, and undergoing psychological counseling.

Afghan police don't often intervene in cases like this one, because Islamic Sharia law prescribes punishments such as stoning, but there is no provision in Sharia law that allows for mutilation if a bride flees an abusive home. That's why police tracked down and arrested Suleiman when he went to the local bazaar, according to the UK Daily Mail. When he saw law enforcement officials, he ran, and they chased him for a mile and a quarter before catching him. He admitted to involvement in his daughter-in-law's mutilation, and was arrested.

Aisha won't return to Afghanistan to testify against Suleiman - it would be too dangerous for her to come back to the country where she was mutilated.