Taliban publicly chops hands of men over theft allegations

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The Taliban on Tuesday publicly flogged nine convicted of robbery and “sodomy” in Ahmad Shahi Stadium in Kandahar, reported ANI.

“The Supreme Court said in a statement that nine people were punished in Ahmad Shahi Stadium in Kandahar on Tuesday on charges of robbery and ‘sodomy'”, tweeted Tolo News.

Local authorities and Kandahar residents were in attendance during the lashing. The spokesman for the provincial governor, Haji Zaid, said the convicts were lashed 35-39 times.

Meanwhile, former Policy Advisor to Minister for Afghan Resettlement & Minister for Refugees in the UK, Shabnam Nasimi said that the Taliban have reportedly cut off the hands of four people in a football stadium in Kandahar.

“The Taliban have reportedly cut off the hands of 4 people in a football stadium in Kandahar today, accused of theft, in front of spectators. People are being lashed, amputated & executed in Afghanistan, without fair trial and due process. This is a human rights violation,” she tweeted.

Despite international condemnation, the Taliban has resumed the flogging and the public execution of criminals following a decree by the hard-liners’ supreme leader.

UN experts are deeply aggrieved about a public execution and that flogging has resumed in Afghanistan and call on the de facto authorities to halt immediately all forms of severe, cruel and degrading forms of punishments.

They said in a statement, “Since November 18, 2022, the de facto authorities have reportedly carried out floggings of over 100 individuals, both women and men, in several provinces including Takhar, Logar, Laghman, Parwan and Kabul. Each was given between 20 and 100 lashes for alleged crimes including theft, ‘illegitimate’ relationships or violating social behaviour codes. While the criminalisation of relationships outside of wedlock seems gender-neutral, in practice, punishment is overwhelmingly directed against women and girls. The flogging has been carried out in stadiums in the presence of officials and members of the public.”

On 7 December 2022, the Taliban publicly executed a man in Farah city, Farah province, in what appears to be the first public execution since seizing power in August 2021.

“Senior de facto officials, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Justice, were in attendance. The application of these punishments began after the Supreme Leader on November 13, 2022 ordered the judiciary to implement Hudood (crimes against God) and Qisas (retribution in kind) punishments across the country,” added the statement.

Public floggings and executions violate universal principles prohibiting torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Afghanistan is a State party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which prohibits torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. The public spectacle of these punishments makes them especially distasteful and undignified.

“We are additionally raising doubts about the fairness of the trials preceding these punishments, which appear not to satisfy basic fair trial guarantees. International human rights law prohibits the implementation of such cruel sentences, especially the death penalty, following trials that apparently do not offer the required fair trial guarantees,” added the statement.

It called on the de facto authorities to immediately establish a moratorium on the death penalty, prohibit flogging and other physical punishments that constitute torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and guarantee a fair trial and due process in accordance with international standards. At all times, no matter the status of a person, they are entitled to dignity and respect. (ANI)

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