The United Nations has called on the Taliban-led government of Afghanistan to investigate allegations of the forced marriage and abuse of a medical student by an ex-Taliban official that has sparked strong condemnation by many Afghans.
"We call on the de facto authorities to transparently investigate all alleged violations of women's rights, to hold perpetrators to account and to ensure safety of Afghan women and girls," the UN diplomatic mission in Afghanistan said in a statement on September 2.
Since August 30, videos of a young woman have been circulating on social media in which she introduces herself as Elaha Delawazai, the daughter of a retired Afghan general and a medical student at Kabul University.
She accuses former Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Saeed Khosty of forcibly marrying, torturing, and raping her. Footage also show photos of Delawazai with bruises on her face and around her eyes. It’s not clear when and where the video was recorded.
In another video, Delawazai is seen arguing with Khosty after he forcibly entered her home. A separate video shows Delawazai, with a shovel in her hands, throwing Khosty out from her home.
After the videos appeared on social media, Khosty confirmed that Delawazai was his ex-wife but rejected other allegations and accused her of blasphemy.
Khosty is a close aide of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting interior minister of the Taliban-led government and the leader of the notorious Haqqani network.
The woman's whereabouts aren’t known. Delawazai said she tried to escape to Pakistan, but was detained at the border.
Since coming to power in August last year, the Taliban has been accused of seriously curtailing women freedoms, denying teenage girls the right to education, and barring most women from work.