Today I take to the keyboard to write the saddest story, a story about a young girl who just kept repeating these words: “There are no humans here, all are animals.”

She is only sixteen years old, an Afghan girl who had been growing up in Iran, but had recently returned to Afghanistan, to the Pusht-e-Koh District of Farah Province. She was, I imagine, thinking about her future in her own country. Maybe she dreamed of starting her education, becoming an important person, marrying, and living in peace in her own country.

But in Farah, the worst part of her life began. She was raped by a group of policemen at a checkpoint in Tujig village.

I heard about her story from another journalist, and went to the hospital where she was taken after the policemen raped her for an entire day. When it seemed she might die, these men brought her to the hospital around 9 p.m. With another reporter, I searched the official documents and discovered a few details. This smart, beautiful girl arrived at the hospital in bad condition. She was covered in blood, but locked in chains. She did not have the strength to stand on her feet or walk. She had lost control of her urine due to what she had undergone. The tests at the hospital showed she was not pregnant but had lost her hymen.

Gullaqa, who works at the hospital, saw the girl come in. “She arrived in a bad state mentally. She just kept repeating, ‘All here are animals, not human, and cruel,’” Gullaqa said.

After being cared for in the hospital, the girl’s nightmare was not over. Police then took her to jail. They said she was a smuggler or perhaps, because she spoke Farsi, a spy for Iran. That is where she remains now.

Some questions are left without answers.

How did this girl arrive at the checkpoint? Was she kidnapped and taken there?

How long was she kept at the checkpoint?

Even if she was a smuggler or a spy, which has not been proven, why was she taken to the Farah Province jail without proper legal authority?

The officials did not allow reporters to talk with the girl. They said she was sent to jail on the basis of a letter from the prosecutor’s office saying she should be jailed.

But her story sparked sympathy in Col. Sayed Ahmad, the officer at the Farah jail. “She only speaks Farsi because she grew up in Iran,” he said. “When I see her, tears come to my eyes, because I am a human. Why is she in jail? This is wrong, and we should be sorry for this.”

If she is guilty of crimes, I really hope someone can be found to answer the question of why she was raped instead of being arrested. Police are here to protect Afghans. They should support people, not put them at risk and destroy their lives.

By Seeta

photo: Paula Bronstein / Getty Images