Afghanistan’s burned brides

A hospital tries to save women who’ve set themselves ablaze. And a prosecutor tries to get them justice.

The head nurse at Herat Regional Hospital’s Burn Unit guesses that she’s seen at least a thousand self-immolation cases since she started working here 13 years ago. Almost all of them are young women who’ve been beaten, starved, or forced into abusive marriages they can’t leave without also abandoning their children. But not all women who douse themselves in kerosene and light a match succeed in killing themselves. Some of the survivors are featured in this slideshow, along with photos of the Herat burn unit and Afghan prosecutor Maria Bashir.


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