Activists demand halt to Taliban’s public floggings

File photo from a public flogging incident in the central Parwan province. 2022.

Amid ongoing public floggings by the Taliban, activists are calling for an end to the practice. The Taliban publicly flogged three individuals in Ghor province on Saturday, continuing their enforcement of severe penalties.

Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban leader, last week defended the practices of public stoning and flogging, including those directed at women.

“Where people, especially women, lack access to justice, where the justice and judicial systems have collapsed, there is the arrest and imprisonment of individuals by the rulers, clear cases of kidnapping, and the issuance of death sentences, murder, and stoning as crimes against humanity. These are blatant acts of murder visible in broad daylight,” stated Shafiqa Razmanda, a women’s rights activist.

Women and girls urged the international community not to ignore the Taliban’s stringent policies.

“The ongoing practice of whipping, particularly of women, is a grave and alarming issue. We are concerned about the Taliban flogging women and call on the international community to scrutinize the Taliban,” said Storai, a resident of Farah.

“Sadly, we witness daily the Taliban’s public stoning or flogging of women. This is deeply troubling. We ask the Taliban to revoke this mandate, and we implore the international community not to overlook the women, including Afghan women,” Dewa, another Farah resident, expressed.

The enforcement of corporal punishment resumed following an order from the Taliban leader in October 2022.

According to United Nations data, following the Taliban leader’s directive, hundreds have been killed during their more than two-and-a-half-year rule in Afghanistan, with public executions carried out in Farah, Laghman, Ghazni, and Jawzjan provinces.