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Afghan Domestic Violence Victim To Get New Nose In Turkey

Afghan woman Reza Gul, 20, whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19.
Afghan woman Reza Gul, 20, whose nose was sliced off by her husband in an attack, lies on a bed with her baby as she receives treatment at a hospital in the northern province of Faryab on January 19.

An Afghan woman whose nose was cut off by her husband is in Turkey to undergo reconstructive surgery.

Doctors in Ankara's Mimine Hospital say it might take up to four weeks and "a couple of surgeries" to reattach Reza Gul's nose.

Reza Gul, 20, says her husband cut off her nose and left her in the desert after accusing her of leaving their house without permission.

The attack prompted widespread condemnation and underscored concerns about domestic violence in Afghanistan.

Speaking from her hospital bed on February 5, Reza Gul told reporters that she was forcibly married in her early teens and endured six years of domestic violence.

"My mother and father, without my knowledge, gave me for marriage to this man," she said. "They said this is Islam, he is a Muslim and this will be good for you."

Afghan authorities say the attack occurred on January 17 in a remote Taliban-controlled village in the Ghormach district of the northern Faryab Province.

The provincial governor's spokesman, Ahmad Javed Bedar, said Reza Gul's husband, 25-year-old Mohammad Khan, cut her nose off with a pocket knife.

She was only brought to the local hospital in the provincial capital of Maymana a day later, after having lost a lot of blood.

Reza Gul was later taken to Kabul for treatment, and Afghan authorities subsequently transferred her to Turkey since reconstructive surgery was not available in Afghanistan.

Turkish plastic surgeon Ramazan Erkin said doctors will reconstruct Reza Gul's nose in three to four weeks.

"The patient's nose was … completely cut off...The bone, cartilage, and soft tissues are missing," Erkin told reporters in Ankara. "But we can reattach the nose with surgery. We might carry out a couple of surgeries."

In Ankara, Reza Gul is accompanied by her infant daughter, mother, and her uncle. The family says Reza Gul doesn't want to return to Afghanistan unless authorities guarantee her full protection.

Police said they have been unable to find and arrest Reza Gul's husband, who fled the village after the assault.

Commonplace Violence Against Women

In some Afghan regions, cutting someone's nose is traditionally regarded as a punishment for those who have brought disgrace to their family.

Violence against women, including domestic violence, is commonplace in Afghanistan, where perpetrators often go unpunished.

On February 5, a woman was killed after being accused of adultery in a Taliban-controlled village in western Ghor Province, Afghan authorities said.

The provincial government said the woman, identified as Zahra, was executed after being tried in a so-called Taliban "desert-court."A local district governor, however, said Zahra was shot dead by her husband, who accused her of having an extramarital affair.

Also in Ghor, a 19-year-old woman accused of adultery was stoned to death on October 25, 2015.

A video filmed by an eyewitness shows the woman, identified as Rokhshana, partly buried in a hole in the ground as a group of men pelt her with stones in front of a small crowd.

Officials said Rokhshana was caught eloping with her boyfriend, who was subsequently let go after being lashed.

At least one suspect was arrested in connection with the stoning, and police say they are looking for other perpetrators.

Officials have since relocated the victim's parents from their village to the provincial capital, Firoz Koh, citing security concerns.

With reporting by Reuters and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan