Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Afghanistan: Down the Rabbit Hole
From the tragic to the absurd. That is the story in present day Afghanistan where a barber finds himself in jail because he couldn't make it to a judge's house to trim his beard.
The following is from RAWA News.
Afghan barber is jailed for refusing to visit judge's residence to trim his beard
by Hadi Ghafari
BAMYAN CITY: A high court chief in central Dai Kundi province has put a barber behind bars for refusing to visit his residence to trim his beard. Syed Ahmed, 38, a barber in the provincial capital of Nilli, ended up in jail for disobeying the order of Judge Daud Bakhtiyari. Ahmed's wife told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday: "Four days back, the judge called my husband to his house to give him a haircut. But my husband could not go to the judge's residence because of the heavy workload at his shop." As a result, she said, her husband was ordered jailed by Bakhtiyari for not giving him prompt tonsorial services. The local police officials, who exhibited remarkable alacrity in arresting the hairdresser, argued he had committed contempt of court. General Muhammad Nader, a police official in the province, confirmed Ahmed's arrest and explained the coiffeur had been in jail for the last four days in line with instructions from the high court. "We are duty-bound to implement court directives. Whenever it orders someone jailed, we are forced to take action," the cop added while defending the arrest. In response to a query from this news agency, Bakhtiyari warned: "Whoever (including Pajhwok's reporter) attacks my dignity or commits contempt of court, I will put him in jail." Refusing to go into details of the case, the judge thundered: "No one except the chief justice has the right to ask me questions about the arrest." He reiterated his warning: "Anyone defying me or the court will be handed down a similar punishment." The barber's father, who had come to the high court along with elders to have his son bailed out, said: "The judge has refused to free Syed Ahmed before he serves a week's time in prison." He insisted Ahmed had committed no offence in failing to give the judge a haircut and trim his beard at his residence. He also linked his son's failure to the multiplicity of customers at his shop.