Thursday, November 28, 2013

Afghan Government considering Bringing Back Stoning

Twelve years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan's government is considering bringing back a gruesome spectacle that became synonymous with Islamist cruelty: the use of public stoning as a punishment for sex outside marriage. 
The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country's penal code being drawn up by the ministry of justice.
It is the latest in a string of encroachments on hard-won rights for women, after parliament quietly cut the number of seats set aside for women on provincial councils, and drew up a criminal code whose provisions will make it almost impossible to convict anyone for domestic violence. 
Activists fear that as western troops head home, taking with them both money and the attention of the voting public back home, conservatives are making headway in undermining rights they see as a foreign imposition.
"It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand."
A translated section of the draft seen by the Guardian has several references to stoning, including detailed notes on judicial requirements for handing down the sentence.   
"Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]," article 21 states. The draft goes on to specify that the stoning should be public, in article 23.
A working group including officials from the UK and US embassies, the United Nations and other international bodies is supervising the slow process of trying to unify a fragmented penal code, which has already dragged on for over a year, a source connected to the process said. 
The provision on stoning was drawn up by a sub-committee working on sharia law, and has not yet been put to the main working group for approval. But its inclusion even in the draft is a warning sign that conservative judges and lawmakers are feeling bolder, women's rights campaigners said.
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1 comment:

BOSMAN said...

And we're letting these people dictate the terms of our withdrawal of troops and how many Billion they'll 'LET' us give them...UNBELIEVABLE