The Afghan government has condemned as “un-Islamic and inhuman” a video apparently showing the public execution of a woman accused of adultery.
The execution is said to have been organised by the Taliban in a village in Parwan province less than an hour’s drive from the capital, Kabul.
It shows a woman crouched on the ground wrapped in shawls as a group of men read verses from the Koran and announce she should be killed for adultery.
Another man then approaches the woman and shoots her repeatedly at close range as a crowd watches on. They cheer as she tips over.
“They are brutal people, and like savage animals they kill another human,” said Provincial Governor Abdul Basir Salangi. “It is clear that they are outlaws and must be delivered into the hands of the law. Other than an official court and the decision of the President, nobody has the right to carry out such action, regardless of whether that woman was guilty. In fact she wasn’t guilty.”
According to a spokeswoman for the governor, the victim was married to a member of a militant Taliban group and was accused of adultery with a Taliban commander. The spokeswoman added that an operation was underway to find the culprits.
It took the government some time to react to the video which emerged on Saturday. That delay has angered many, including MP and campaigner for girls’ education Fawzia Koofi.
“This is really shocking, and for me, I think, there is zero tolerance for such things and the silence of the government. I think we will have to do something serious about this, we will have to do something as women, but also as human beings,” she said.
Violence against women in Afghanistan has increased sharply in the last year. Activists say women’s rights are slipping from the agenda as Kabul and the US pursue talks with the Taliban to end the war.