Monday, July 8, 2013

Female Afghan Police Officer Islam Bibi Gunned Down Outside Her Home

How is a nation supposed to progress when some of its citizens believe in slaughtering anyone who doesn't want to live in the seventh century?

Lt. Islam Bibi
The Telegraph—The most senior female police officer in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, and a symbol of improving women’s rights in the face of Taliban hostility, has been shot dead.

Lieutenant Islam Bibi, who had survived death threats from her own brother to rise through the ranks, was shot as she left her home yesterday morning.

Omar Zwaak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand, said Lt Bibi had been attacked as she rode on a motorbike alongside her son-in-law in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

“She was seriously injured and died of injuries later in the emergency ward in hospital,” he added.

Her struggle to be able to take a job outside the home was typical of the problems faced by many women in conservative, rural areas of Afghanistan.

The 37-year-old mother of three had been a role model for other women in a province that remains a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency and where few women are ever seen on the streets, and then only wearing a burka.

Like her 32 other female colleagues — less than half of one per cent of the province’s 7,000-strong police force — she faced a daily battle, not just against extremists and opium smugglers, but against her own family.

In an interview with the Telegraph earlier this year, she said: “My brother, father and sisters were all against me. In fact my brother tried to kill me three times.

“He came to see me brandishing his pistol trying to order me not to do it, though he didn’t actually open fire. The government eventually had to take his pistol away.”

Lt Bibi was a refugee in Iran when the Taliban overran Afghanistan in the 1990s. She returned in 2001, raising her family at home before joining the police nine years ago.

“Firstly I needed the money, but secondly I love my country,” she in April. “I feel proud wearing the uniform and I want to try to make Afghanistan a better and stronger country.”

Police in Helmand said it was too soon to speculate about who may have been behind the murder. (Continue Reading.)

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