In what is being hailed as a rare victory for female victims of sex crimes, a judge in Kabul has sentenced an Afghan mullah to 20 years in jail for the brutal rape of a 10-year-old girl in a mosque. Although the mullah threatened to kill the girl and her family if she told anyone, she suffered wounds that could not be hidden. In a country where victims of sexual assault can themselves be prosecuted and sent to jail, this is a notable and important win for justice.
Meanwhile, in Iran, a 26-year-old woman sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of her alleged rapist has been executed. The woman, Reyhaneh Jabbari, claimed that the killing took place in self-defense during a sexual assault. The sentence had been protested by human rights groups and Iranian activists, and the U.S. State Department condemned the execution, questioning the fairness of the trial (including reports of confessions made under severe duress and possibly torture).