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Afghan Mola arrested after marrying baby girl given as a ‘religious gift

By: Mirwais Jalalzai

A regional cleric in central Afghanistan was arrested in after allegedly marrying a 6-year-old girl. Mola Mohammad Karim Akhonzada claimed during primary investigations that the 6 year old girl was gifted to him and her parents had full knowledge that marriage.

Mola Mohammad Karim said, he did not have sexual intercourse with the 6-year-old yet but she is formally her wife according to Shria law.

But when the child was interviewed by police she said: “I am afraid of this man, local media reported.

2Mola Mohammad Karim claims the girl was a “religious offering”. He added: “The girl was given to me after I ask God to help her family and the father and mother of the baby had no money to gift me for what I asked from God to them and they decided to give me the baby as a gift and we were married so I could raise her.”

According to local police and prosecutors, the ceremony was held during the holy month of Ramadan, which was witnessed by around dozens of people in Firoz Koh city the center of Ghor province.

The afghan human rights and social media activists  rise that issue to the public and they asked the central government to brought this Mola to justice and do whatever the afghan law has said about that case. “We are worry about the future of that girl and over all the future of human rights in Afghanistan, Samya Kakar a women rights activist in Kabul said.”

However, the girl’s parents strenuously refute any knowledge of this, saying that their daughter was abducted.

The  deputy police commander of Ghor province : “This man has said his wedding to this girl was approved by her mother and father.” Police arrested Karim on 27 July and he is being held in the provincial capital, Firuz Koh.

“Police  spoke to her parents and they strongly deny they attended the wedding,” Mohammad Zeman Azami said.”On the phone, the parents told me their daughter was kidnapped.”

The child is expected to be returned to her parents in the near future, as she is currently being cared for in a shelter, where there are concerns for her wellbeing, even though it is believed she was not physically harmed.

Karim said he did not have sexual intercourse with the 6-year-old, which was confirmed by Dr Nashafarin Shihab, from the main hospital in Firuz Koh.

“An examination was carried out in the presence of two midwives,” she said. “The examination showed that the girl had endured no physical or psychological harm.”

Mrs.Masooma Anwar, the head of the provincial women’s affairs office in Ghor, described the purported marriage as “shocking”.

Kids marriages are on the increase in Afghanistan, according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). “In some regions, because of insecurity and poverty the families marry off their daughters at a very early age to get rid of them,” AIHRC chief Sima Samar said.

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