Afghanistan’s Taliban have announced fresh public floggings of convicts, both women and men, in defiance of renewed United Nations calls for the Islamist rulers to immediately halt the practice.
The Taliban’s supreme court said a group of 22 individuals, including women, was flogged in a crowded sports stadium in Sheberghan, the capital of the northern province of Jowzjan.
Each was given between 25 and 39 lashes for alleged crimes, including adultery, gay sex, running away from home, drug trafficking and theft, the statement said. The court also reported that 11 men and a woman were flogged in central Ghor province for committing similar crimes.
The de facto Afghan authorities have carried out floggings of more than 130 men and women in crowded sports stadiums in several provinces and the capital, Kabul, since mid-November, when the Taliban supreme leader, HibatullahAkhundzada, ordered the judiciary to implement Islamic law or Sharia-based punishments. The order also led to the first public execution of a convicted murder since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Officials said the execution in the western province of Farah two weeks ago was in accordance with “Qisas [retribution in kind], an Islamic law stipulating the person is punished in the same way the victim was murdered.
The flogging and execution have been administered in stadiums in the presence of senior Taliban officials and members of the public. The top Taliban court in its statement defended the application of Islamic Sharia to criminal justice, saying it is key to promoting “peace and justice” in the country.