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Men and women are publicly whipped for adultery by the Taliban

Women accused of adultery have been publicly whipped by the Taliban as the Islamist group rolls out Sharia law across Afghanistan (file image)

Women accused of adultery have been publicly whipped by the Taliban as the Islamist group rolls out Sharia law across Afghanistan.

Ten men and nine women were each whipped 39 times in the town of Taloqan for alleged adultery and theft, a senior Taliban official said.

It is the first large-scale use of corporal punishment since extremists returned to power last year.

Women accused of adultery have been publicly whipped by the Taliban as the Islamist group rolls out Sharia law across Afghanistan (file image)

Women accused of adultery have been publicly whipped by the Taliban as the Islamist group rolls out Sharia law across Afghanistan (file image)

The flogging recalls the horrific executions and stonings carried out under their previous regime in the 1990s.

The punishments took place in the northeastern province of Takhar on Nov. 11 after Friday prayers by order of provincial courts, the spokesperson said.

It was not immediately clear whether such sanctions would be imposed nationwide.

The Taliban’s supreme spiritual leader met with judges this month and said they should apply Sharia-compliant sentences, according to a court statement.

Other countries are examining the Taliban’s human rights and women’s rights record since seizing power in August 2021 after a two-decade insurgency.

No foreign government has officially recognized the Taliban administration and many have already strongly criticized its overthrow over signals that they would open secondary schools nationwide for girls in March.

Public lashes and executions by stoning took place under the previous Taliban regime of 1996-2001.

Such punishments later became rare and were condemned by subsequent foreign-backed Afghan governments, although the death penalty remained legal in Afghanistan.

It comes as deteriorating living conditions under Taliban rule will mean more Afghans will struggle to survive this winter.

The religious group’s takeover sent the economy into a tailspin and fundamentally transformed Afghanistan, plunging millions into poverty and hunger as foreign aid came to a halt almost overnight. the following day.

Martin Schuepp, director of operations at the Red Cross, said in an interview: “The economic difficulties are there. It is very serious and people will fight for their lives.

Sanctions against the Taliban leadership, halting bank transfers and freezing billions in Afghanistan’s currency reserves have already restricted access to global institutions and the outside money that supported the country’s dependent economy. aid to the country before the withdrawal of American and NATO forces.

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The onset of winter will aggravate the acute humanitarian needs half of the country is already facing, Schuepp said.

Afghan women hold educational documents during a protest as they demand the Taliban government provide them with job opportunities in Kabul last month

Afghan women hold educational documents during a protest as they demand the Taliban government provide them with job opportunities in Kabul last month

“Prices are skyrocketing for a whole host of reasons, but the sanctions issue has also had massive consequences,” he said.

“We are seeing more and more Afghans who have to sell their assets to make ends meet, where they have to buy heating equipment while facing rising costs for food and other essentials.”

Sanctions present a challenge to getting needed aid and supplies to the country in time, and it is essential that all sanctions have humanitarian exemptions so that organizations like the Red Cross can continue their work, he said. he declares.

The Red Cross is already paying the salaries of 10,500 medical staff each month to ensure basic health services are maintained, Schuepp added.

“We are very aware that it is not our main role to pay the salaries of medical staff. As a humanitarian organization, we are not best placed to do this. We have done this exceptionally to ensure services continue to be provided.

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Mr Schuepp, who was on his first visit to Afghanistan as operations director since the Taliban took over, said the agency fed most of the country’s prison population. He was not able to immediately say how many prisoners there were in Afghanistan.

“We have stepped up our support for prisons and prisoners, ensuring that food is delivered to prisons across the country,” he said. “Today, around 80% of the prison population receives such food support.”

He described the role of the Red Cross as a “stop-gap measure” that became necessary after the collapse of the US-backed Afghan government once Washington began its final troop withdrawal in August 2021.

The Red Cross has tried “to ensure that basic services continue” in prisons under Taliban rule, he said.

No country in the world has recognized the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as the Taliban call their administration, leaving them internationally isolated.

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