(ISLAMABAD) -- A decision by the European Union to block the release of a documentary highlighting the plight of women jailed for “moral crimes” in Afghanistan has sparked a bitter row between the EU, the film-makers and human rights activists.
The documentary, titled In-Justice, tells the story of a 19-year-old Afghan woman, Gulnaz, who was raped and impregnated by her attacker. She reported the incident to police, only to be charged with adultery and sentenced to 12 years at a Kabul jail with her infant daughter.
The EU blocked the release of the film over concern for both Gulnaz’s safety and its relationship with Afghanistan's judiciary.
Critics argue that the production should be shown to highlight the gravity of the injustice taking place against women, and say that the ban is a perfect example of how Western governments are tiptoeing around accusations of torture by the Afghan police and intelligence services.
Gulnaz feels her hope for justice has now been killed twice -- once by the Afghans who accused her of adultery and then forced her to marry her rapist, and another time by the EU when it censored the film in which she appears.
The film provides a very unflattering look into the Afghan judicial system and exposes numerous women’s rights violations that happen on a daily basis.
In Afghanistan, nearly half of the female prisoners who are incarcerated are rape victims or women who run away from their abusive families.
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