08/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Afghanistan Rape 'Widespread': UN

The UN has said that Afghan law does not protect rape victims, according to the Daily Star.

The humanitarian organization also criticized communities which have repeatedly turned to traditional forms of justice which have attached shame upon the victim rather than focusing on the criminal.

The Daily Star quotes the UN's human rights rep in Afghanistan, Norah Niland, saying, "This is an issue that is under-reported and to a significant extent concealed, but it is a huge problem in Afghanistan."

The UN report states that rape is 'widespread' in Afghanistan, according to AFP.

IRIN says the UN reports that powerful individuals, who are immune to prosecution due to their positions of influence, have been linked to rapes.

"In some areas, alleged or convicted rapists are, or have links to, powerful commanders, members of illegal armed groups, or criminal gangs, as well as powerful individuals whose influence protects them from arrest and prosecution," IRIN quotes the UN report.