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Taliban lash three women and eleven men in front of hundreds at football stadium

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Taliban lash three women and eleven men in front of hundreds at football stadium

T

he Taliban have lashed three women and eleven men in front of hundreds of spectators at a provincial sports stadium in eastern Afghanistan.

The corporal punishment was administered in Logar province on Wednesday, as penalty for “sins including adultery [and] robbery”, said the Taliban-led Supreme Court.

It said on Twitter: “Fourteen people, including three women were lashed in the presence of scholars, authorities and people … for different sins including adultery, robbery and other forms of corruption”.

The court added that two other people had also been lashed in eastern Laghman province.

It was the second confirmation of lashings by the Taliban this month, signalling a possible return to practices common in its hardline rule in the 1990s.

It marks the latest sign of the ruling group applying its strict interpretation of sharia – Islamic law – to criminal justice.

The Taliban’s supreme spiritual leader met judges this month and said they should carry out punishments consistent with sharia law, according to a court statement.

Other countries have been scrutinising the Taliban’s track record on human rights and women’s rights since they took over in August 2021 after a two-decade insurgency.

No foreign government has formally recognised the Taliban’s administration and many have already heavily criticised its reversal on signals they would open secondary schools nationwide for girls in March.

Public lashings and executions by stoning took place under the previous rule of the Taliban, between 1996 and 2001.

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

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