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Sitting next to the man who raped and made her pregnant, Afghan victim – who was forced to MARRY attacker to avoid prison – says she gave up all her ‘wishes in life to buy my daughter’s future’


  • Gulnaz fell pregnant after being attacked by a man called Asadullah in Kabul
  • She was rejected by her family and sentenced to 12 years in prison for ‘adultery by force’
  • Although that was later quashed, the unmarried mother was left an outcast 
  • So to give her daughter Smile a normal life, she married Asadullah
  • In an exclusive interview with CNN, she described life with the rapist who is now her husband

An Afghan woman who was forced to marry her rapist and have his baby has revealed how she gave up all of her hopes and dreams to ‘buy’ her daughter’s future.

Known only by the name Gulnaz, the Kabul-based woman was only 16-years-old when she fell pregnant with the child of her depraved attacker Asadullah – who is also married to her cousin.

Even though a rape led to her pregnancy, Gulnaz’s brothers insisted she would not be allowed to return to her ‘shamed’ family as she was unmarried and a Kabul court sentenced her to two years in prison for ‘adultery by force’, later increased to 12 years following an appeal.

The only hope of a reduced sentence was to marry Asadullah, which she did in early 2013. Now she is pregnant with his third child but insists she only agreed to marry her rapist so that her first daughter – named Smile – could live a shame-free life in the Afghan capital’s ‘traditional’ society.

Just over two years after Gulnaz married Asadullah, the couple agreed to a joint interview with CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh.

Gulnaz said that her decision to marry the rapist was purely based on the fact her daughter, Smile, would have been unable to live a normal life in the Afghan capital without a father.

‘I didn’t want to ruin the life of my daughter or leave myself helpless so I agreed to marry him,’ she said.

‘We are traditional people. When we get a bad name, we prefer death to living with that name in society,’ Gulnaz added, reportedly refusing to look her husband in the eye during the interview.

Asadullah – who was jailed for the rape but subsequently had sentence reduced – appears totally remorseless about his crime.

He insists that by agreeing to marry her, he actually ‘rescued’ Gulnaz.

‘If I hadn’t married her according to our traditions, she couldn’t have lived back in society,’ he said.

‘Her brothers didn’t want to accept her back. Now, she doesn’t have any of those problems,’ he added.

Asadullah is still married to his first wife – Gulnaz’s first cousin – with whom he has five children.

In total seven children and three adults live in the family house.

Gulnaz was found guilty of ‘adultery by force’ following the brutal attack in 2008.

When the case came to court Gulnaz was sentenced to two years in jail, which was later increased to 12 years on appeal.

A first release offer, which she eventually agreed to, stipulated she must marry her attacker.


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