Female election worker commits suicide
after rape attempt on her

RAWA photo, Oct.13, 2004

Muska in the hospital
Muska in the hospital in Jalalabad a few days before her tragic death.

On October 9th, 2004 (the day of the Presidential election in Afghanistan), Muska, a female election worker traveling with her team to different villages registering voters, was assigned to a polling station in a clinic located in Shagi, a village in the Khewa district (Nangrahar Province, southern Afghanistan). After the elections, the driver was asked to drop all the female election workers off at their homes. Muska was the last woman in the car, and although the driver told her that she reminded him of his sisters, Muska was afraid to be alone in the car with him. The driver agreed to take her to the home of her uncle, who lived in the village of Qare-e-Kohna. On the way to the village, the driver stopped the car in an area called Qala-e-Taq; he produced a knife, with which he threatened Muska and attempted to rape her. Muska resisted, and although injured, was able to run away from the car and arrive at the house of her uncle. She explained the incident to her uncle, who complained to Commander Noor Agha. With the help of the head of the district, the driver was held in custody. The following day, Muska (who was deeply disturbed by the incident) went into her kitchen and covered herself in gasoline, then lit her body on fire. Rescuers found her in flames and after being taken to Sahat-e-Ama Hospital in Jalalabad, doctors determined that over eighty per cent of her body was burned.

Afterwards, supporters of the Solidarity Party protested at the UN office, the Election office and other officials to investigate the issue and provide better facilities for Muska. The UN office then transferred her to a hospital in an American military base in Bagram. Unfortunately, doctors could do nothing for her and she died of the severe injuries on October18th.

The driver, named Mashuq, was formerly involved with the militant group of Eng. Ghafar, the infamous criminal commander of the Islamic party of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Muska, who was the daughter of Abbas in the Khewa district lived in district No. 3 of Jalalabad.

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