There are three versions of how Tabaruk, a mother of six, died this spring during a journey through treacherous snow-covered mountains in Afghanistan.
She and her family had been expelled from their village in Ghor Province because her teenage daughter, Mah Yamsar, was said to have brought dishonor by becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
The police in Ghor say Tabaruk fell off her horse and died.
Members of the provincial council and human rights activists say she was pushed off a cliff, and then tied to a horse and dragged around until dead.
A third version of the story was told to Mah Yamsar by her 8-year-old brother, who was traveling with Tabaruk at the time. “They killed my mother with the bullets of a gun,” the brother recounted.
If Afghanistan is one of the worst places to be a woman, then Ghor, a province so lawless that people often wonder if there is a government there at all, may be the country’s capital of gender-based violence and abuse. Week after week there are reports of women abused or killed in Ghor by men who never face justice…