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Baad justice haunts Afghanistan

Young women who escape Afghan marriages arranged to settle disputes (a practice called baad) hide in a secret safehouse, where they learn to sew. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

The New York Times this week featured a report on Baad -- the Afghan tradition of givng daughters to settle disputes. Last fall, Dispatches presented this report:
 
In Kandahar, Canadian troops are taking their base apart now that their combat role is over in Afghanistan.  

Afghans meanwhile, are still putting together the framework for justice and governance to keep the country together once western troops depart. 

Millions have already been spent training judges and building courthouses. 

But ten years after the war began, many Afghans still resort to old traditions which have cruel consequences for women, as we hear from Canadian journalist Laura Lynch at the jail where many wind up.  

 

Sohaila's father married her to a warlord to settle a dispute in an Afghan practice called baad. She escaped, married on her own, but she and her husband were captured and sent to jail. Her father says she has to kill her son to come home. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere, shown Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Kandahar Airfield. (Photo: Colin Perkel/CP)

A Brigadier-General's dispatch

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere spent 18 months inside and outside the wire, practising this mantra: in an insurgency, get the people on your side.  Civilians are the centre of gravity.

Rick asked him about his thoughts on that, on challenges to the rule of law in Afghanistan and the mission still ahead.

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