Taliban Chief Threatens Public Stoning of Women Accused of Adultery

In a stark declaration, Akhundzada proclaimed, “We will flog the women… we will stone them to death in public…you may call it a violation of women's rights

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As Afghanistan grapples with the resurgence of the Taliban, fears are mounting that women’s rights could face a stark regression reminiscent of darker times. Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban, recently delivered a chilling message through a voice broadcast on state television, indicating that women in Afghanistan could face brutal punishments such as public floggings and stoning to death for adultery.

In a stark declaration, Akhundzada proclaimed, “We will flog the women… we will stone them to death in public…you may call it a violation of women’s rights when we publicly stone or flog them for committing adultery because they conflict with your democratic principles… (But) I represent Allah, and you represent Satan,” as reported by The Guardian.

Justifying these draconian measures as a continuation of the Taliban’s struggle against Western influences, Akhundzada emphasized, “The Taliban’s work did not end with the takeover of Kabul, it has only just begun.”

The alarming rhetoric has triggered widespread condemnation and concern. Sahar Fetrat, an Afghan researcher at Human Rights Watch, warned, “Two years ago, they didn’t have the courage they have today to vow stoning women to death in public; now they do… They tested their draconian policies one by one, and have reached this point because there is no one to hold them accountable for the abuses… We should all be warned that if not stopped, more and more will come…”

The Taliban’s return to power in 2021, following the US-led invasion in 2001, has been marked by a swift reinstatement of strict interpretations of Islamic law. This includes restrictions on women’s rights, reminiscent of their oppressive rule from 1996 to 2001, during which women were barred from attending school or pursuing employment outside their homes.

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