Karzai Strongly Condemns Public Execution of Afghan Woman

Posted July 9th, 2012 at 12:10 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has strongly condemned the apparent public execution of a young woman by the Taliban for reportedly committing adultery.

Mr. Karzai Monday called the act in the northern province of Parwan a “heinous and unforgivable crime,” and he ordered authorities to do everything possible to arrest and punish those responsible.

The head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, described the shooting — which was videotaped and later circulated online — as “an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty.” He said the Taliban's “continued brutality” toward innocent civilians, particularly women, “must be condemned in the strongest terms.”

The video was first obtained by Reuters news agency and has not been independently verified, but Parwan officials say the public shooting happened late last month.

The woman faced accusations of being romantically involved with two members of the Taliban. Male villagers are heard cheering on the video after the woman was shot at close range. Some villagers shouted “long live the Afghan mujahedeen,” a reference to the Taliban.

Provincial governor Bassir Salangi tells VOA that it is proof that the Taliban do not care about the rights of the people.

Afghan parliamentarian Fawzia Kofi says that even if the victim had an illicit sexual relationship with a man, the shooting denied her the right to a just court and defense.

Afghan women's rights activists have raised concerns about the status of women once international combat forces withdraw from the war-torn country. There is particular concern about U.S. and Afghan efforts to negotiate a political settlement with the Taliban.

Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, women were not allowed to work, get an education or leave the house without a male escort.

The head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights commission Sima Samar says that a reason these incidents are repeated is because those responsible never get punished. She called on the government to provide security and justice.