Sahar Gul, a 15 year old bride from northeastern Baghlan province was being tortured by her in-laws who are forcing her into prostitution. She was bought to hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 201. Gul’s in-laws kept her in a basement for six months, ripped her fingernails out, tortured her with hot irons and broke her fingers _ all in an attempt to force her into prostitution. Police freed her last week after her uncle called authorities. Horrific images of Sahar, bruised and bloodied, captured on video, transfixed Afghanistan and set off a storm of condemnation. President Hamid Karzai set up a commission to investigate, and his health minister visited her bedside at a Kabul hospital. The in-laws have been arrested but they deny abusing her and a warrant has been issued for her husband, who serves in the Afghan army.

Fawzia Kofi, a lawmaker and head of the women’s affairs commission in the Afghan parliament speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. “I think there is now a sense of awareness about women’s rights. People seem to be changing and seem to be talking about it,” Kofi says.

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