A distressing video where an Afghan woman is seen being stoned to death by Islamists is being investigated by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported Tuesday.
The two-minute clip shows a crowd of Islamic fanatics mercilessly throwing stones and other items at a screaming woman in a hole in the ground. Onlookers can be heard encouraging the brutality, shouting phrases such as “Allahu Akbar” and “Hit her!”
Afghan authorities have blamed the gruesome murder on the Taliban, with whom the government is still negotiating in order to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. The AIHRC told RFE/RL they were trying to establish when the video was shot and what “crime” the woman had committed.
The terror group has denied this, saying the video is from 2015 when a 19-year-old woman in the central province of Ghor faced similar punishment for adultery under the orders of Sa’eedi Yar, the commander of a pro-government militia.
Local officials rejected this claim, saying the Taliban were also responsible for the execution in 2015 of a woman named Rokhshana who was caught allegedly having premarital sex with her fiancé in the village of Ghalmin outside Firoz Koh, the provincial capital.
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The atrocity was roundly condemned by a spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, describing it as a “crime against humanity.”
“I am utterly shocked and saddened after I watched a video on Twitter in which a group of Taliban is stoning an innocent woman,” spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi wrote on Twitter. “Taliban’s cruelty and atrocity under the name of Islam is a crime against humanity.”
I am utterly shocked and saddened after I watched a video on Twitter in which a group of Taliban is stoning an innocent woman. Taliban’s cruelty and atrocity under the name of Islam is a crime against humanity.
— Sediq Sediqqi (@SediqSediqqi) February 1, 2020
Although death by stoning remains illegal under the Afghan constitution, the Taliban consider it a legitimate punishment for those who have violated Islamic Sharia Law. The method was particularly common when the Taliban ruled large parts of the country from 1996 to 2001, where convicted adulterers were regularly executed by a variety of means in front of baying crowds.
Capital punishment was widely practiced by the Taliban regime that ruled much of the country from 1996-2001 when convicted adulterers were routinely shot or stoned in executions conducted in front of large crowds.
Responding to Ghani’s assertion, the organization declared that stoning for adultery is an “Islamic ruling that cannot be rejected by any Muslim.”
Adultery is still a crime in Afghanistan and those found guilty can face decades in prison. The Afghan constitution states that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam,” a rule that often stifles attempts to liberalize the troubled country.