Afghanistan: Taleban's 'sickening' stoning of couple condemned

Amnesty International has condemned the first Taleban executions by stoning carried out in Afghanistan since 2001.

Yesterday a couple were stoned to death for “eloping” in Taleban-controlled village in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan.

The stoning came two days after Afghanistan’s highest Islamic religious body, the Council of Ulema, called on the government to more strictly enforce physical shari’a punishments, known as hudood, as a concession to the Taleban in an attempt to end the war. Under the Taleban, hudood punishments included public stoning, amputations and lashing.

Amnesty has warned that the Afghan government should not sacrifice human rights, particularly the rights of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and minorities, in the name of reconciliation with the Taleban and other insurgent groups. The organisation has recently called on the Afghan government to seek the assistance of the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Taleban and all other parties to the war in Afghanistan.  

Amnesty International Asia-Pacific Director Sam Zarifi said:

“The stoning of this couple is a heinous crime. The Taleban and other insurgent groups are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against Afghans.

“The Afghan government and the Council of Ulema must condemn the use of stoning following this sickening Taleban execution.

“Afghan leaders must stand against stoning and other appalling human rights abuses masquerading as ‘justice’, no matter how much pressure they are under to deal with the Taleban.”
 
This stoning is the first to be confirmed in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban in 2001. Local sources told Amnesty that the couple had eloped to Pakistan, but returned to their village of Mullah Qulli in Archi district of Kunduz after being told that their families had agreed to marry them.  Instead, they were stoned to death on 15 August by a Taleban council.

On 9 August, a woman in Badghis province was shot dead in public by the Taleban for alleged adultery. Meanwhile, in 2005 a case of stoning for adultery in Afghanistan was reported, allegedly ordered by local religious leaders, although Amnesty has not independently verified this case. 

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