'Afghan Romeo' Freed From Jail, Returns to His Juliet
Charges dropped against Zakia and Mohammad Ali
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2014 9:50 AM CDT
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(Newser) – An Afghan couple who married for love—and wound up getting arrested for it—reunited yesterday, after both were freed from custody, the New York Times reports. Mohammad Ali, 21, a Shiite Hazara, and Zakia, 18, a Sunni Tajik, eloped in March and went on the run from their families and the law, prompting the Times to dub them "the Afghan Romeo and Juliet." Zakia's father pressed charges against them for bigamy, saying Zakia had already been married to her nephew—she says she was merely engaged to him against her will. Six of Mohammad Ali's male relatives apprehended him on June 6 and took him to police, who charged him with kidnapping. Zakia then turned herself in to a women's shelter, where the Times explains she was "effectively kept under a form of house arrest."

But the case attracted widespread media attention, particularly in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan's attorney general intervened, ordering Mohammad Ali's release last week; the charges against Zakia were dismissed yesterday. He also offered to file charges against Zakia's father for trying to force her to marry against her will—a crime under Afghanistan's Elimination of Violence Against Women law—but she declined. "If my family catches us, they won't leave us alive," she says, and she never expects to see her parents again. "But I don't want trouble for them."

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Jun 19, 2014 7:20 PM CDT
Newser will publish a story about an Afghan couple released from jail but is completely silent about Sgt. Andrew Tahmoores, a U.S. Marine locked in a Mexican prison for mistakenly taking a turn and ending up on the Mexican side of the border. He even called 911 before entering Mexican soil explaining his mistaken turn. The 911 operator told him to continue to the border. He has been in prison for almost 3 months and President Obama will not pick up the phone and demand he be released. Shame on you Newser, you need to give this story the coverage it deserves. I have recommended this story to you, but you have refused to provide any coverage.
Jun 18, 2014 10:17 AM CDT
This undoubtedly will have a tragic ending.
Jun 18, 2014 10:05 AM CDT
good for them and good for you Afghanistan.