The Taliban confirmed this week that they publicly flogged dozens of people who violated Sharia law, prompting a fierce response from US officials.
Three women and 11 men were lashed on Wednesday after being found guilty of theft and “moral crimes”, a provincial official told Agence France-Presse.
“The maximum number of lashes for anyone was 39,” Qazi Rafiullah Samim, head of information and culture for Logar province, south of Kabul, told AFP.
“Honourable scholars, mujahideen, elders, tribal leaders and local residents” were invited to the city’s Pul Alam football stadium to witness the floggings, the governor’s office told The Associated Press.
It came after 10 men and nine women were flogged Nov. 11 for adultery, robbery and running away from a mosque in northeast Afghanistan, a Supreme Court official said on Sunday, according to the AP. .
The official said the Nov. 11 beatings took place in front of alumni, scholars and residents after Friday prayers.
“It is both appalling and a dangerous sign that the Taliban are increasingly defiant in showing the world that they are embracing the policies of the past,” tweeted Rina Amiri, U.S. Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights. “It didn’t end well before and it will once again lead the country down a perilous path.”
Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada ordered Afghan judges to impose Sharia-compliant sentences this month.
There are two types of crimes that Sharia addresses: hududs and qisas. Hududs are crimes against God whose punishments are described in the Quran, including amputation of hands and feet, flogging and death.
Qisas are sentences for murder or physical assault that are determined by a judge.