Nine women and 14 men publicly flogged in Sar-e-Pul
Photo: Social Media

Taliban publicly flogs 19 individuals in Sar-e-Pol province

The Taliban publicly flogged 19 individuals, including two women, in a sports stadium in northern Sar-e-Pol province on Wednesday.

In a newsletter on Thursday, the Taliban Supreme Court stated that the individuals were punished on charges of adultery, homosexuality, elopement, armed robbery, and insulting the hadith of Prophet Muhammad.

The punishment was carried out in the presence of Taliban officials, including the group’s governor for Sar-e-Pol province, head of intelligence, local security commander, and a large number of people.

According to local Taliban officials, each of the individuals received between 20 and 39 lashes.

The Taliban has made public corporal punishment a central part of its penal system since returning to power in August 2021. The group has been widely condemned by the United Nations and human rights organizations for its use of corporal punishment.

In a report in May, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented the use of several forms of corporal punishment by the Taliban. The report found that the Taliban has used a variety of forms of corporal punishment, including lashings, stoning, beatings, forcing people to stand in cold water, and forced head shaving.

According to the report, 276 men, 58 women, and two boys were publicly flogged in Afghanistan in the last six months. The lashes were typically between 30 and 40, but in some cases, people were given as many as 80 or 100 lashes.

The report has elicited strong responses from the international community, with the UNAMA Chief Human Rights Officer, Fiona Frazer, stating that “Corporal punishment is a violation of the Convention against Torture and must cease. The UN is strongly opposed to the death penalty and encourages the DFA to establish an immediate moratorium on executions.”

The UNAMA report has urged the Taliban to “engage with and respond to the report” and called for more respect for international human rights standards.