Protect Actresses in Afghanistan from Violent Attacks

LSU-Tigers

Target: President Hamid Karzai

Goal: Protect the lives of actresses in Afghanistan

Recently, a trio of actresses in Kabul was surprisingly attacked by their neighbors while loading their moving truck. Sisters Areza and Tamana, and their friend Benafsha, were surrounded by six men who cornered them and ruthlessly stabbed them. The sisters managed to get medical help and survived the attack, but their 22-year old friend died at the scene. The three women were used to verbal taunts by the conservative locals but the attack came as a shock to everyone.

Despite getting medical attention, Areza and Tamana were forced to undergo unnecessary tests by the police. They were subjected to intrusive virginity tests and may face charges for solicitation or involvement in the attack. The police claim that they must do these tests to rule out any possible illegal interactions with men. The sisters suffered a horrible attack and now they may be held responsible for something they were not guilty for.  The police must drop their charges and ensure the safety of these women.

Areza, Tamana, and Benafsha appeared on television recently, which is a highly controversial career path for women in Afghanistan. They were also shunned by the residents for dressing inappropriately, since they did not cover their bodies from head to toe. According to the Guardian newspaper, a local stated, “I didn’t see the TV programme, I just heard the local boys saying that one of them played a role with boys. The hatred of the people here is the reason she was killed, I am 100% sure.”

Areza held a small role in a television satirical series, and Tamana was on the Emrooz show. Neither of these women advertised their careers, and lived in the neighborhood as laundry workers. However, since the three women did not live with a head male presence, which is atypical within the culture, they were extremely vulnerable targets.

After the attack, there was a significant jump in threats for fellow actresses in Kabul. Sahar Parniyan, an aspiring young actress stated that she received death threats recently. Parniyan got phone calls extremely late at night and has gone into hiding. The government cannot allow these innocent women to be forced to live in fear. The recent death of Hanifa Safi, the head of women’s affairs reiterates the need for security. They need protection from the extremely conservative population of men that will actually harm and kill them. The government must step up and save these women.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Hamid Karzai,

The recent attacks on innocent women in Kabul are unacceptable. The three young actresses, Areza, Tamana, and Benafsha were attacked by six men near their moving truck. Benafsha did not survive the horrible knifing event, and sisters Areza and Tamana suffered physical and emotional wounds. Now, Areza and Tamana might face charges for moral crimes, and they may be blamed for the actual event. These women are innocent and they do not deserve to suffer even more.

The men picked on vulnerable women and they need to be punished. I understand that acting is very controversial in your country, but that does not give the right for conservatives to go around and kill every actress out there. These women did not bother or harm anyone, and all they ever did was appear on television.

Please protect them and ensure their safety.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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