Approximately 400 women and girls are imprisoned in Afghanistan for “moral crimes”, which usually involve flight from unlawful forced marriage or domestic violence. Some women and girls have been convicted of zina, sex outside of marriage, after being raped or forced into prostitution.
Introduction: 
Approximately 400 women and girls are imprisoned in Afghanistan for “moral crimes”, which usually involve flight from unlawful forced marriage or domestic violence. Some women and girls have been convicted of zina, sex outside of marriage, after being raped or forced into prostitution. Zina is a crime under Afghan law, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Human Rights Watch found that almost half the women in prisons and all the girls in juvenile detention centers had been arrested after they fled a forced marriage and women who had fled abusive husbands and relatives. Some women interviewed by Human Rights Watch had gone to the police in dire need of help, only to be arrested instead. The women and girls described abuses including forced and underage marriage, beatings, stabbings, burnings, rapes, forced prostitution, kidnapping, and murder threats. Virtually none of the cases had led even to an investigation of the abuse, let alone prosecution or punishment.