Afghan Activists Protest Woman’s Public Execution

Posted July 11th, 2012 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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Some 150 people took to the streets of Kabul on Wednesday to protest the apparent public execution of a woman that was captured on video.

The footage, which was obtained by news outlets and circulated on the Internet, shows a woman in Parwan province being shot dead at close range as male spectators cheer. Local officials say the Taliban accused the woman of committing adultery and executed her last month.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the United States and the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, have all strongly condemned the killing.

Participants in Wednesday's demonstration in Kabul, including women's rights activists, demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Sima Samar, the head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, said “we want the government to seriously follow the cases of the killing of women and bring the culprits to trial.”

On Monday, President Karzai called the crime heinous and unforgivable and ordered authorities to do everything possible to arrest and punish those responsible.

Sahar Gul — a teenager who said she was brutally tortured and locked up by her in-laws — was among the protesters in the Afghan capital.

Gul's story of abuse made international headlines. She and the woman in the video have been held up as examples of the challenges women in Afghanistan still face, even after the fall of the repressive Taliban regime.

During Taliban rule in Afghanistan in the 1990's, women were banned from working, getting an education or leaving their homes without a male escort.