Don’t blink. You read that right. Child marriage kills — even if the underage bride never even makes it down the aisle. The fraternal suitors who hoped to procure this young Afghan girl as a wife were more than a little put off by her and her father’s “thanks, but no thanks.” So when nursing their bruised egos, somehow murder became a viable solution.
The BBC reports that the girl’s father understandably exhibited some push back against child marriage after his 14-year-old, named Gastina, received some offers. He was quoted by the Pajhwok news agency as saying that she was “too young to be engaged.” But according to police officials who are currently investigating her murder, people began “harassing the family and asking for her hand.”
The teenager was reportedly transporting some drinking to her home in the Imam Sahib district when she was attacked. And to make matters even more gruesome, police are certain that those who ultimately took her life were also those who wanted to marry her. The saga, according to the Daily Beast, went a little something like this:
Sadeq, Masood, and their family had been pestering—indeed, threatening—Gastina’s father, Noor Rahman, that they would not take no for an answer to Masood’s marriage proposal. Rahman stood his ground, insisting that his daughter was too young to be engaged. Sarwar, the police spokesman, says Rahman told him that the brothers had proposed repeatedly and seemed to become angrier after each rejection. Sarwar adds that immediately after killing Gastina, the two men rushed home, changed out of their bloodstained clothes, and tried to run. The police caught them and said they looked “frightened and nervous.” Sarwar says police found bloodstained clothes and the knife used in the murder in the brothers’ home.
People around town, as well as Senior Afghan officials, also say that the two arrested suspects are “close relatives” of the underage victim.
While the exact details of the 14-year-old’s murder are nevertheless important to uncover, the most glaring is utterly undebatable. The same people who wanted her hand in marriage took no issue with discarding of her once she and her family exhibited some agency. It seems that the notion that this young lady had options was just that plain offensive.