KABUL, Afghanistan — An 18-year-old runaway named Amina agreed two weeks ago to leave the women’s shelter in which she had taken refuge in northern Afghanistan and go home with her brother and her uncle.
What happened next is a cautionary tale for two young people from Bamian Province who eloped and are still in hiding, even as some activists are trying to persuade them to turn themselves in.
Amina had run away to avoid marrying a man her family had forcibly betrothed her to, and agreed to return only after her family had signed guarantees that she would not be harmed. For good measure, her father and brother repeated their vows on video camera at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Baghlan Province, and she left with them.
She never reached home. Hours after she got into her family’s car, a gang of gunmen dragged her out of the vehicle and shot her to death, her brother and uncle later claimed. Everyone else was unharmed.