A 14-year-old girl from central Afghanistan has died due to severe burns, a local official said on Monday, as questions were raised about whether she had set herself on fire to escape an arranged marriage.
“She was a victim of family violence,” said General Mustafa Andarabi, the Police Chief of Ghor province.
It is not clear if the girl, named Zahra, was set on fire by her in-laws or if she did it herself. Reports also claim that Zahra was pregnant.
“On Saturday, she was taken to a clinic in Kabul, but it was too late, she had third-degree burns, down to the muscles and bones,” Mohammad Saber Nasib, a physician said.
According to Andarabi, Zahra’s husband was involved in the incident.
“He (Zahra’s husband) fled the house. However, we have Zahra’s father in-law and mother in-law in custody,” Andarabi said.
Abdul Hay Khatibi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that Zahra had nodded in response when asked whether she had set herself on fire.
Ruqia Naiel, a senator from Ghor province, said that Zahra’s father complained to the provincial council and the provincial judiciary about his daughter being ill-treated in her husband’s house, but no one listened to him.
According to her, the girl had been married when she was 12 and had been ill-treated since.