New Afghan Penal Code May Include Stoning for Adulterers

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 05:43 AM

By Robert Brothers

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The reintroduction of public stoning as punishment for adulterers is under consideration in Afghanistan, the Guardian reported Monday
 
One proposed revision to article 21 of the country’s penal code, a process currently being overseen by the Justice Ministry, declares that both “men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death].”  
 
The proposal has drawn fire from Human Rights Watch, which has called on international donors to tell President Hamid Karzai that including such provisions in a new penal code would have a negative impact on international assistance.
 
“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 Human Rights Watch Asia Director Brad Adams.

He added that Karzai “needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand.” 
 
Under the Taliban government, which ruled Afghanistan from the mid-1990s through October 2001, stoning was a punishment for adultery.

Last year, a video reportedly showing a man and a woman getting stoned to death for adultery was condemned by Afghan government officials, foreign diplomats and human-rights groups, according to the Telegraph.

The executions reportedly occurred in a Taliban-controlled village located less than 25 miles from Kabul.

Questions about the Afghan penal code arise as Washington seeks to negotiate a security agreement with Karzai that would leave up to 15,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan after next year.

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