Public execution of woman condemned in Afghanistan
A horrific video showing the public execution of a woman, 22, accused of adultery has been condemned by the government as un-Islamic and inhuman. -AFP
KABUL - A horrific video showing the public execution of a 22-year-old woman accused of adultery in Afghanistan has been condemned by the government as un-Islamic and inhuman.
The video shows her being shot repeatedly in the back in front of a crowd of men in Qol village in Parwan province just north of the capital Kabul.
The woman, named as Najiba, was married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group and was accused of adultery with a Taliban commander, Parwan provincial spokeswoman Roshna Khalid told AFP Sunday.
"Within one hour they decided that she was guilty and sentenced her to death. They shot her in front of villagers in her village, Qol," she said, adding that the execution took place late last month.
Following the shooting a villager handed the video over to the provincial government and "the security forces are preparing a big operation to find the culprits", she said.
The video opens with the woman, wrapped in a grey shawl, sitting at the edge of a ditch in a village surrounded by dozens of men, some perched on rooftops for a better view.
As she sits with her back to the crowd a bearded man is seen reading verses from the Koran condemning adultery, before saying: "We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her."
The video then shows a man in white being handed an AK47 rifle.
He approaches to within a couple of metres of the woman, says 'Allahu akhbar' (God is great), aims and fires twice, missing each time. The third shot hits her in the back, she flings her arms wide and collapses.
He then fires another six shots into her body as the crowd cheers wildly, shouting "Long live Islam", "Long live mujahideen (holy warriors)". The shooter then fires four more shots into her body.
The government issued a statement Sunday saying it "strongly condemns this un-Islamic and inhuman action by those professional killers and has ordered the Parwan police to find the culprits and bring them to justice".
The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission also expressed outrage, with executive director Mohammad Musa Mahmodi saying: "We condemn any killings done without proper trial. It is un-Islamic and against any human rights values."
Public executions of alleged adulterers were common when the Taliban regime was in power from 1996 until 2001, when they were ousted by a US-led invasion for harbouring Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks.
The Taliban have since waged an insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai, which is supported by some 130,000 NATO troops.
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