Afghan girl asked to face cross-examination or risk attacker walking free
Bibi Aisha had attracted international attention after it was reported by Time magazine that her nose and ears were chopped off by her in-laws.
Kabul: Bibi Aisha, the Afghan girl who had attracted international attention after it was reported by Time magazine that her nose and ears were chopped off by her in-laws, has been asked by a court to face cross-examination or risk letting her attacker walk free.
The Time magazine’s front cover had generated debate over the headline “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan” and the use of the photo itself.
The 18-year-old girl’s nose and ears had been sliced off with the approval of a Taliban commander by her abusive husband as punishment for running away, setting an example for other wives to think twice before trying to escape their abusive in-laws.
The Scotsman quoted prosecutors as saying that the case against Aisha`s father-in-law Haji Suleiman, who is accused of holding a gun to her head while his son had sliced off her nose with a knife, would collapse unless she could be cross-examined by the court.
The lead prosecutor, Ghullam Jan Mohmand, wants to charge Haji Suleiman with attempted murder. If convicted, he is likely to face life in jail. The case, however, is based almost entirely on Bibi Aisha`s testimony, and that of her father, Mohammedzai, the paper said.
"If you cut off someone`s ears and nose, they can die. It is attempted murder and the punishment should be very big," Mohmand said.
Aisha is currently in the United States recovering from reconstructive surgery. Earlier, her father had gone into hiding fearing that he too could be arrested. Officials said other witnesses are too scared to come forward, for fear of getting embroiled in a bitter blood feud.
Meanwhile, Suleiman has accused Aisha of sleeping with five brothers in their village, and denied that he had ever hurt her.
Aisha was reportedly given away by her family in childhood as a “blood debt” and was subsequently married to a Taliban fighter, whose family kept on abusing her until she decided to run away. However, she was recaptured and mutilated by her husband.