KABUL, Afghanistan — The gruesome photograph of a bloodied young woman whose nose was sliced off has prompted outrage in Afghanistan, a country hardened by decades of violence.
Reza Gul, 20, was mutilated by her husband in a Taliban-controlled area in northern Faryab province and taken to a local hospital by relatives on Monday, said Police Chief Gen. Sayed Aqa. Her husband had not been captured by police, he added.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which circulated Reza Gul's photo on Twitter, immediately condemned the incident as a "disgrace." It also demanded the government bring the perpetrator to justice.
In parts of Afghanistan, slicing off a person's nose is meant to shame them and show they have brought disgrace to their family or clan.
Afghanistan is thought to have one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, although most incidents are not reported to officials. Recent attacks have sparked street demonstrations and online protests.
Maria Reha, a prominent women's rights activist, wrote a sarcastic message on her Facebook page after the picture of Reza Gul circulated online:
“We are the most proud and brave nation on earth?! If you doubt it, here is another example of our bravery! Don’t worry, soon America or Europe will make her another nose and Afghanistan will win another trophy for this pride!”
In 2010, Time magazine caught the attention of the world when it put a photograph of mutilated Afghan woman on its cover. The woman, 20-year-old Bibi Aisha, had her nose cut off by her abusive husband in southern Uruzgan province. She soon became an international celebrity, moved to the U.S. and was given a prosthetic nose.
In December 2013 Setara, a mother-of-four had her nose and ears cut off by husband in western city of Herat, causing street protests.