Death sentence

In landmark judgment, DNA evidence used to jail Afghan father for rape

Aref Karimi/AFP/Getty Images

An Afghan court has convicted a man for the repeated rape of his daughter, with the use of DNA evidence. His victim had been abused over a period of more than two years, during which she went through multiple pregnancies and abortions. After she had her first baby, the family moved away to a new province and her baby was taken away, but when she had a second baby she refused to give the child up, saying, “I kept it to have proof for my claims against my father — my child was my only evidence.” She eventually managed to end the abuse and have her father arrested with the help of her mother. The father denied all charges, claiming his daughter had extramarital relationships with other men, but she was eventually allowed to present DNA evidence in court, which is extremely rare in Afghanistan. With the help of several non-governmental organizations, it still took almost a year before a DNA test could be arranged, but the results eventually showed that her father was indeed the father of her children too. The judge sentenced him to death, but the father is appealing that decision. The victim, meanwhile, remains fearful. “I’m so worried about the future of my children,” she said. “What will I tell them when they are older and ask me about their father?”

Read the full story at BBC.


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