Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Children in Prison

I took this photo in Pul-e Charkhi prison outside Kabul while reporting a story about children who live behind bars with their convicted mothers. The little one was born in Pul-e Charkhi, as are many children of women jailed for moral crimes; often they have married the man they wanted instead of the man chosen by their family. The boy holding the baby has been in prison since he was a year old. The mother of the boy on the right had divorced her first husband and remarried; her first husband then accused her of cheating on him and committing adultery.

I lent him my pen.

In the absence of playpens, unruly children were tied to bed posts to keep them out of trouble.

These girls lived with their mothers in a prison in the western Afghan city of Nangarhar, where I went to meet Rukhma, a woman I wrote a story about who was kidnapped and raped, and whose son was beaten to death before her eyes. The perpetrator was jailed for murder, and she was jailed for running away and adultery.

The girls left the women's prison at the same time that I did. They were delivering packages from their mothers to their fathers, who are in the men's lockup next door. The girl in the red has on her head her father's freshly-cleaned clothes: It appears that the traditional role of the wife washing the husband's laundry adheres even when they are incarcerated.

1 comment:

pfelelep said...

Really impressive indeed. The "drawing kid" is amazing, what was he writing?

Thanks a lot for sharing.