Parwana Malik, a 9-year-old girl, was sold off as a child bride to a 55-year-old man, as her father needed money to buy food for his family in Afghanistan. In a video Parwana is seen crying and resisting as her husband, Qoran, takes her away.
Since the take-over of Afghanistan by Taliban, the country is facing major economic and humanitarian crises as the international aid has been put on hold.
Father Pleads Parwana's Husband to 'Not Beat Her'
In a gut-wrenching video shared by CNN, Parwana is seen laughing and playing with her friends in an Afghan displacement camp in northwestern Badghis province of Afghanistan.
Describing Qoran as 'old', the child bride told CNN that she wanted to study and dreamed of becoming a teacher. "'My father has sold me because we don't have bread, rice or flour. He has sold me to an old man," Parwana said adding that she hoped her pleadings would held change her father's mind.
The video shows Qoran arriving at Parwana's house and giving money to her father, Abdul Malik. Later, a weeping Parwana is brought in by her mother and handed over to Qoran, who holds her tightly by her wrist. "This is your bride. Please take care of her -- you are responsible for her now, please don't beat her," Malik is heard telling Qoran.
A wailing Parwana is then seen being forcefully taken away by Qoran as she drags her feet.
Qoran Says Parwana Was 'Cheap'
Speaking to CNN, Qoran said that he bought Parwana for 200,000 Afghanis (about $2,200) which included sheep, land, and cash. Claiming that the sale wasn't marriage, Qorban, who is already married, said his wife would look after Parwana like her own children.
"(Parwana) was cheap, and her father was very poor and he needs money. She will be working in my home. I won't beat her. I will treat her like a family member. I will be kind," he said.
Parwana's father who moved the family to the displacement camp four years ago, was earning from undertaking menial work and humanitarian aid. However post-Taliban rule, the earnings have stopped, Malik told the outlet.
Prior to Parwana's marriage, Malik told the outlet that he is unable to sleep at night and is "broken" with guilt, shame and worry. Revealing that he tried to get money by trying to find a job and asking for loan from relatives, Malik said that his wife even starting begging for food. "We are eight family members. I have to sell to keep other family members alive," he told CNN.