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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Human Rights Watch calls for Afghanistan to reject stoning proposal

A proposal to restore stoning as a means for punishing adultery has been put before the Afghan government. Human Rights Watch is calling for the proposal to be rejected out of hand. The group is shocked that the group, led by the Justice Ministry, working on drafting a new penal code would even consider bringing back stoning as a punishment. 

The provisions in the draft are archaic and a violation of basic human rights. According to Human Rights Watch, “if a couple is found by a court to have engaged in sexual intercourse outside legal marriage, both the man and woman shall be sentenced to ‘stoning to death if the adulterer or adulteress is married.’ The provisions state that the ‘implementation of stoning shall take place in public in a predetermined location.’ If the ‘adulterer or adulteress is unmarried,’ the sentence shall be ‘whipping 100 lashes.’” 

The new government in Afghanistan signed on to international human rights conventions and pledged to protect human rights. The proposed penal code would be a strong violation of the agreements the government signed on to. 

“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 Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand.”

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