Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission probing video of a woman being stoned to death Ghor province
An independent rights watchdog in Afghanistan has initiated an investigation of video footage that shows a woman being stoned to death, says a report published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on its website.
The two-minute clip shows a group of men throwing stones at a covered woman who is lying in a hole that has been dug in the ground. A crowd of onlookers can be heard shouting “Hit her!” and “Allahu Akbar!”
The woman’s cries and screams can be heard.
Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) told RFE/RL that it is trying to discover exactly when and where the video was shot, and why the woman was killed.
The Taliban claims the footage is from the same October 2015 stoning in which a 19-year-old woman in the central province of Ghor was killed for alleged adultery.
The Taliban also said the stoning had been carried out by a pro-government militia commander.
But local officials blamed Taliban militants for the 2015 execution. The victim, identified as Rokhshana, had been accused of having premarital sex with her fiance. The incident took place in the village of Ghalmin on the outskirts of Firoz Koh, the provincial capital.
But Afghan journalists and activists say the new footage, which was first uploaded on social media on January 30, documents a more recent stoning in the Taywara district of Ghor Province.
Ghor, a mountainous and remote province in Afghanistan’s central highlands, is one of the most impoverished and unstable areas of the country. The provincial government’s power extends little beyond Firoz Koh.
The Taliban and dozens of illegal, armed groups run by former warlords and militia leaders are active in Ghor — a key transit route for shipments through Afghanistan of weapons and opium.
The new footage prompted outrage from Afghan social-media users. Many have blamed the Taliban.
The Taliban is locked in peace negotiations with the United States and has held talks with Afghan politicians about a political solution to end the 18-year-old war.
The peace talks have provoked controversy among some Afghans who view the Taliban as terrorists who should not be negotiated with.
“I am utterly shocked and saddened after I watched a video on Twitter in which a group of Taliban is stoning an innocent woman,” Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani, wrote on Twitter on February 1. “Taliban’s cruelty and atrocity under the name of Islam is a crime against humanity.”