Rob Crilly reports for The Telegraph, Nov. 25, 2013
Twelve years after the Taliban was ousted from power Afghanistan is planning to reintroduce public stoning as punishment for adultery, according to a new draft penal code.
The move has shocked human rights campaigners and will dismay donors who have poured billions of pounds into the country for reconstruction.
It will be viewed as another backwards step at the end of a year that has seen women’s rights undermined, with a slew of legislation and murders of prominent women.
Human Rights Watch called for international donors to withhold funding if the government went ahead with the plan.
Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said: “It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the (President Hamid) 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.”
The draft – devised by a working group led by the Justice Ministry and parts of which have been obtained by The Telegraph – states that unmarried adulterers should be subject to 100 lashes. If they are married, the punishment is stoning in a public place.
Stoning was used as punishment for adultery during Taliban rule, a brutal period which included bans on radio, television and music.
Since then, human rights – and women’s rights in particular – have frequently been cited as a barometer of progress under the government on President Karzai.
His government signed up to international human rights conventions and the current penal code does not allow stoning as a punishment.
Critics have warned that progress is fragile and is being undermined in an attempt to placate
conservative reactionary powerbrokers and maybe even pave the way for a deal with the Taliban as NATO forces leave the country in the next year.
In May, the country’s lower chamber revised the country’s electoral law, ditching the guarantee that at least a quarter of seats in each of 34 provincial councils be reserved for women.
There will be no female candidate in April’s presidential election, and parliament has never ratified a long-awaited law setting penalties for rape, child marriage and baad – the giving of girls to resolve disputes.
Phyllis Chesler writes in August 2010 that stoning is practiced in six Muslim countries: Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Nigeria. Even in “moderate” Indonesia, a 2006 poll found that 50% of Muslims there supported stoning in cases of adultery, however it is defined. Adultery might include: a married woman who is raped by a stranger, or a woman promised in marriage to one man but who chooses another.
Here’s a CNN video of the stoning of a young woman. Warning! Very disturbing images!
Here’s an even more disturbing video from 1994, showing the hole being dug for the human being who will be stoned to death, followed by the excited crowd throwing stones at the victim:
See also “Pakistani Taliban joining jihadist “rebels” in Syria civil war,” Sept. 24, 2013.