Taliban publicly flogs 63 in Afghanistan, including women, drawing UN condemnation

The United Nations is condemning the Taliban after it publicly flogged more than 60 people at a sports stadium in northern Afghanistan. 

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan wrote on X that 63 people were “publicly lashed” by “Afghanistan’s de facto authorities” on Tuesday in the Sari Pul province. 

“UNAMA reiterates its condemnation of corporal punishment and calls for respect for international human rights obligations,” it added. 

Taliban’s supreme court in a statement confirmed the public flogging of 63 people including 14 women who had been accused of crimes including sodomy, theft and immoral relations.  

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The Taliban, despite initial promises of a more moderate rule, began carrying out severe punishments in public – executions, floggings and stonings – shortly after coming to power again in 2021. The punishments are similar to those during the Taliban’s previous rule in the late 1990s. 

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Separate statements by the supreme court said a man and a woman convicted of adultery and trying to run away from home were flogged in northern Panjsher province on Wednesday. 

Earlier this year, the Taliban held a public execution of a man convicted of murder as thousands watched at a stadium in northern Jawzjan province, according to The Associated Press. The brother of the murdered man shot the convict five times with a rifle. 

That was the fifth public execution since the Taliban seized power in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from the country after two decades of war. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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