Crowd watching the Taliban flog a man and woman in Jabal Saraj district of Parwan province. Photo: Etilaat Roz/ KabulNow

Taliban publicly flogs nine individuals in three provinces of Afghanistan

The Taliban publicly flogged nine individuals, including a woman, in Faryab, Jowzjan, and Nangarhar provinces on charges of moral corruption.

According to the newsletter of the Taliban Supreme Court, four individuals received 29 to 30 lashes each in northern Faryab province on charges of relationships outside marriage and homosexuality.

The Taliban court did not specify how many of the individuals flogged were women.

The Taliban Directorate of Information and Culture in northern Jowzjan province has announced that two people, including a woman, were lashed 39 times each in a sports stadium in Sheberghan City on charges of relationship outside marriage.

Additionally, The Taliban Supreme Court has stated that three people were publicly flogged in Lal Pur district of eastern Nangarhar province on charges of homosexuality.

Since returning to power in August 2021, the Taliban has made public corporal punishment a central part of its penal system. 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 Chief UNAMA Human Rights, Fiona Frazer, stating that “Corporal punishment is a violation of the Convention against Torture & must cease. The UN is strongly opposed to the death penalty & 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.