Suspected Taliban fighters stoned a 22-year-old Afghan woman to death after she was accused of adultery, an Afghan official said Wednesday.
The woman, identified only as Rokhshana, was forced to stand in a deep hole in the ground during the Oct. 24 attack in a village in remote Ghor province of western Afghanistan, said Abdul Hai Khateby, the spokesman for the governor.
The village, about 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of Ghor’s capital, Firozkoh, is controlled by Taliban insurgents “who implement their own barbaric laws,” Khateby said.
In an online video purportedly showing the killing, about a half-dozen men are seen standing around a deep, narrow pit and pelting the woman with rocks while a larger group of men sit on the ground nearby, watching. The video could not be independently verified.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called Rokhshana’s killing a “criminal and un-Islamic” act, according to a statement from his office. The statement said Ghani had appointed a “delegation” to investigate the incident and report to him personally.
While Ghor officials blamed the Taliban, the 14-year war in Afghanistan is often used as a coverall for a wide range of criminal behavior, including revenge killings, kidnapping for ransom and extortion.
The war has entrenched traditional and religious values in many parts of Afghanistan’s vast rural hinterland. Although stoning is illegal under the Afghan constitution, it is seen as a legitimate punishment under Islamic law, or Sharia.
Incidents of stoning are unusual but not unheard of in Afghanistan, where women are the main victims.
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