Human Rights Watch is reporting that Afghan government officials are considering reintroduction of stoning in public for those accused of adultery. The practice would effectively restore one of the most revered customs of the Taliban. [contextly_sidebar id=”89d25200396557c3c58e2764cb3add66″]

The country’s proposed new penal code managed by the ministry of justice declares flogging for unmarried offenders and stoning for those who are married. Article 21 states, “Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death].”

Rohullah Qarizada who is part of the sharia Islamic law committee said that, “We are working on the draft of a sharia penal code where the punishment for adultery, if there are four eyewitnesses, is stoning.”

Brad Adams, the Asia Director of Human Rights Watch in a statement to the Guardian said, “It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment. President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand.”

Video surfaced a year ago of a couple stoned to death because they were both engaged to other people and were trying to elope together. The video shows a woman in a blue burkah being stoned. Her lover is then blindfolded and bludgeoned with rocks until he dies as well. Karzai expressed deep regret over the incident, which occurred in Taliban controlled territory in 2010. But the Karzai administration has been quietly implementing key aspects of Sharia law for years.

Human Rights Watch wrote that the penalty violates international human rights standards that ban torture and cruel and unusual punishment. They also warn that the Afghan government might not receive the recently promised $16 billion in development aid pledged to it at a conference in Tokyo in 2012.

 


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