KABUL, Afghanistan — An international rights group says the number of Afghan women and girls jailed for "moral crimes" has risen dramatically in the past 18 months.
Human Rights Watch says the increase may mean that authorities feel they no longer need to uphold gains in Afghan women's rights as international troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Most foreign forces will leave by the end of 2014, more than a dozen years after toppling the Taliban regime known for its harsh treatment of women.
The New York-based group said Tuesday that the number of females imprisoned in Afghanistan for running away from home or committing adultery rose by 50 percent to 600 in a year and a half.
The group appealed on President Hamid Karzai to ban jailing girls for running away from home.
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