AfghanistanSpecial Reports

25 Years in the Black Pit

Bayan News – Nikbakht, a woman who was in her prime and only 25 years old, spent another 25 years in the domestic prison of her brother, who was full of cruelty. She didn’t commit any serious crime to warrant such a heavy price, but rather, her unfortunate fate was the result of family disputes that subjected Nikbakht to such a cold and miserable destiny.

Reporter: Mohammad ٌReza Samimi

The question here is what led Nikbakht to experience such unhappiness and misfortune? It is almost known by everyone that she encountered black days due to family conflicts, but the reality is more complex than that. According to investigations, Nikbakht divorces her husband after four years of marriage due to infertility, and afterward, she goes to her brother’s house.

Perhaps Nikbakht thought her brother’s house would be the safest place to live with dignity, but she never predicted that she would be caught up in such a fate. Her brother is not happy about her arrival because his wife divorced him, and other women who lived in the neighborhood oppose her presence. This leads to mocking and torturing her, and eventually, Nikbakht is imprisoned in a small room in a corner of the neighborhood, with the door permanently closed to her. Over the past 25 years, the environment in this room has become so contaminated that not even an animal could bear it.

During this time, Nikbakht hasn’t seen the sunlight, hasn’t changed her clothes, hasn’t had a bath, and hasn’t had access to clean water for ablution. She spends her nights in fear and terror, and the only thing she receives is basic food thrown to her through a small seemingly broken window. Nikbakht often doesn’t even eat the food.

Nikbakht has skillfully turned the prison room into her own space. She has blocked the door in a way that no one would notice, and she has collected old clothes, worn-out tires, and other rubbish around the room so that nobody would suspect anything.

The public disclosure of Nikbakht’s extreme injustice has shocked the Afghan citizens to some extent. How heartless does a brother have to be to allow such cruelty and torture upon his defenseless and innocent sister? In a society where honor still prevails, many brothers protect and take care of their sisters. But this incident happened in Afghanistan, for a sister who seeks her brother’s help in finding a husband, becomes a wife, and endures numerous difficulties to build her brother’s life.

If it weren’t for the efforts of the security forces, Nikbakht could have spent several more years in such difficult conditions, and perhaps even lost her life there. But Nikbakht was lucky once again and managed to escape from this domestic prison.

According to accounts, when Nikbakht is rescued from this captivity, she tells the security officials not to take any action against her brother.

Abdul Rahim Ajmal, the commander of the tenth security district in Kabul, stated that the reason for Nikbakht’s imprisonment was described as family violence. He said that about a week ago, security forces, with the help of local residents, rescued this woman from the vicinity of Chahar Asi Square, which falls under the jurisdiction of the tenth district.

This security official believes that the reason for imprisoning this woman is due to family disputes. He added, “Before being imprisoned, Nikbakht divorced her husband four years after their marriage due to infertility, and then her cruel brother imprisoned her in a small, dark room.”

Nikbakht is now almost speechless. She has spent 25 long years in darkness, surrounded by garbage and debris. However, it is interesting that she somehow asks the security officials not to harm her brother.

Currently, Nikbakht is under medical care at one of Sheikh Zahed Hospital’s wards, and the doctors say her health condition is gradually improving.

Dr. Abdul Haddad, the head of the emergency department at Sheikh Zahed Hospital, said that when they brought Ms. Nikbakht to the hospital, her physical and mental condition was extremely deteriorated. She couldn’t even speak properly or say her own name.

On the other hand, the local residents describe the servant of the house or Nikbakht’s brother as a mentally unstable person and say that she didn’t have good relationships even with her neighbors.

Khadem Hussein Hussein, the official of the 14th district, said that he was not aware of this incident in the past years, and the only thing he had heard was that there was a mentally ill person imprisoned in Gholam Sakhi’s house.

Khadem Hussein further stated that the locals believed that he had apparently transferred a prisoner to the village since they didn’t see any signs or hear any sounds.

Nikbakht is from Sheikh Ali district in Parwan province. In the year 1377 (1998), when she was a 25-year-old young girl, she was imprisoned by her brother in a small, dark room that was not much more than a ruin.

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