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World|politics|May 15, 2023 / 11:27 AM
UN experts call on Taliban to end "brutal" forms of punishment in Afghanistan

AKIPRESS.COM - A group of UN-appointed human rights experts on May 11 called on the Taliban to end "brutal and undignified" forms of punishment in Afghanistan immediately, Khaama Press reported.

Ten Special Rapporteurs, including Richard Bennett and members of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, called on Taliban de facto authorities to end "brutal and undignified" forms of punishment, including stoning, flogging, and burying people under walls.

The experts expressed serious concerns about using capital punishment without fair trial guarantees and the discrimination women face in the judicial system.

The statement said that the urgent call by the group came in response to an announcement by the Taliban-appointed Supreme Court in favour of brutal punishment.

"The de facto deputy chief of the court announced on May 4 that they had sentenced 175 individuals to "retribution in kind" punishments, and 37 to be stoned. Dozens of others were condemned to "crimes against God" punishments such as lashing," said the press statement.

The experts noted that "women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotypes against them… held by the exclusively male judiciary".

They said that stoning or being buried alive under a wall constituted torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The experts called these punishments contrary to international law.

According to a recent report by the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in the country, 274 men, 58 women and two boys have been publicly flogged, and one judicially sanctioned execution has been carried out within the last six months alone.

Afghanistan is a signatory to international agreements that forbid torture, cruel, inhumane, or humiliating treatment, and discrimination against women.

The experts urged the Taliban authorities to establish a moratorium on the death penalty and all forms of corporal punishment, including flogging and amputation. They added that "each of them constitutes torture or another form of cruel and inhuman punishment".

The women of Afghanistan have faced numerous challenges since the Taliban returned to power in 2021. Girls and women in the war-torn country lack access to education, jobs and public spaces.

The de facto authorities banned girls from attending secondary school, restricted the freedom of movement of women and girls, excluded women from most areas of the workforce, and banned women from parks, gyms, and public baths.

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