Afghan female judges say they’re targets after Taliban freed rapists, murderers they put behind bars

Business Insider US
Getty Images.
Getty Images.
  • Six female former Afghan judges said they were in hiding after threats from the men they imprisoned.
  • They told the BBC they were moving every few days, and the Taliban had visited their former homes.
  • One said a man she sentenced for murdering his wife told her: "I will find you and have my revenge."
  • For more stories go to

Female judges in Afghanistan say they are being threatened by men they convicted for rape and murder, who were freed from prison by the Taliban.

The BBC spoke to six female former judges who had dealt with cases like murder, torture, rape, and violence against women. The BBC said they were just six of the 220 female judges across Afghanistan who were now in hiding.

According to the BBC, every one of them had received death threats and had to change their phone numbers.

All of them were also in hiding, changing their location every few days, the BBC reported. They all said the Taliban had visited their former homes as well, the report said.

One of the judges, identified as Masooma, sentenced a man to 20 years in prison for murdering his wife.

"After the case was over, the criminal approached me and said: 'When I get out of prison, I will do to you what I did to my wife,'" she told the BBC.

She said that, since the Taliban takeover, "he has called me many times and said he has taken all of my information from the court offices."

"He told me: 'I will find you and have my revenge.'"

Another woman named Sanaa, who was a judge for more than 30 years, told the BBC she had received "more than 20 threatening phone calls from former inmates who have now been released."

She said that a male relative who returned to her family home was met by a Taliban member looking for her, and that the fighter beat him so badly that he had to go to the hospital.

Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told the BBC: "Female judges should live like any other family without fear. No-one should threaten them. Our special military units are obliged to investigate such complaints and act if there is a violation."

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo