April 9, 2013
Where the Price of Freedom is Jail: Pics from Kabul's Central Women's Prison
To a western liberal audience, these rare photos of Afghan women incarcerated for so-called “moral crimes” are like a punch in the gut. (See captions.) Taken by the German AP photographer, Anja Niedringhaus, this kind of material makes you wonder why the liberation of women wasn’t leading the Pentagon agenda.
In the first photo, I appreciate the guarded stare. Not that the look has anything to do with the photographer, but can you imagine the curiosity surrounding a working female war journalist, bringing that kind of autonomy and creativity into this environment?
Just as incendiary, given the ethic to keep children protected, is the site of these children living behind bars, “guilty” by proxy.
And I just had to add this. Not to take anything away from the Afghan Women’s Educational Center, but that sign is memorable for its cruel irony.
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(photos: Anja Niedringhaus/AP caption 1: Picture taken March 28, 2013 shows an Afghan female prisoner kissing her child inside her prison tract in Badam Bagh, Afghanistan’s central women’s prison, in Kabul, Afghanistan. 202 women living in the six- year- old jail, the majority of the women are serving sentences of up to seven years for leaving their husbands, refusing to accept a marriage arranged by their parents, or choosing to leave their parent’s home with a man of their choice, all so-called “moral” crimes. caption 2: Picture taken March 28, 2013 shows children walking through the prison in Badam Bagh, Afghanistan’s central women’s prison, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sixty-two children living with their imprisoned mothers in the six- year- old jail… caption 3: Picture taken March 28, 2013 shows Afghan female prisoners watched by a guard, right, in the only sitting room in their cell at Badam Bagh, Afghanistan’s central women’s prison, in Kabul, Afghanistan.