Taliban Flog Civilian Accused of Adultery

Taliban flogged an Afghan civilian accused of adultery in south-central Oruzgan province last Tuesday.

Taliban Flog Civilian Accused of Adultery
TIRIN KOT, 12/01/2021 - A view of the main square in Tirin Kot, the capital of Afghanistan's Oruzgan province where the Taliban flogged a man accused of adultery last Tuesday. This was the first time such punishment was carried out by the Taliban in the province since they took over Afghanistan in mid-August of last year. Photo by: Baryalai Ansari

Reporter's name held for safety, written by Mohammad J. Alizada, and edited Brian J. Conley

TIRIN KOT--For the first time since returning to power the Taliban flogged an individual accused of adultery in Afghanistan’s south-central Oruzgan province. But the group did not allow media presence at the scene.

The Taliban’s attempt to hide these actions from the media may be and effort to not jeopardize their push for international recognition despite implementing their brand of Sharia Law.

Journalists and residents of Tirin Kot, the capital of Oruzgan, say the incident took place around 11 am last Tuesday in the city’s main square.

Residents are divided in opinions on the Taliban’s action. One group called the Taliban’s action justified, while another called it a violation of human rights.

WARNING!!! GRAPHIC CONTENT - Taliban flog a man accused of adultery in Tirin Kot, the capital of Afghanistan's Oruzgan province. Residents were divided in their opinion of the Taliban's action. - Video from social media.

Habib-ur Rahman, a resident of Tirin Kot, told Alive in Afghanistan that the Taliban’s use of force in public would reduce the amount of morality crimes and corruption.

Habib-ur Rahman urged the Taliban not to accept any leniency in punishing robbers, adulterers and other criminals and to impose all allowable punishments on the perpetrators within the framework of the Islamic Sharia Law.

“People will learn a lesson from this,” Habib-ur Rahman said.

Noor Agha, another resident of Tirin Kot, said, “The Taliban brought a man in a military vehicle and he was flogged in front of people.”

Noor Agha, like Habib, believes that the Taliban’s punishment will reduce the number of criminals and offenders.

But the Taliban’s harsh application of Sharia Law has been brutal, involving the use of swift kangaroo courts. It is unclear when or under what conditions was the suspect caught, nor is there any word about the woman who was involved in the act.

Meanwhile, 56 year-old Sultan Mohammad, another resident, strongly condemned the Taliban’s action.

A witness of the incident, Sultan said the Taliban announced on a loudspeaker that the man’s name is Qudratullah, a resident of the Khaniqa area of Oruzgan’s Chora district.

Citing the Taliban, Sultan said, “This man ‘Qudratullah’ was caught having sex with a woman and will be flogged in the middle of the city to raise awareness.”

“This action is not good because he will be forced to flee his home, village and city for the rest of his life due to the shame and embarrassment,” Mr. Mohammad said, adding that this action is a violation of human rights.

TIRIN KOT, 12/01/2021 - A view from the main square in Tirin Kot, the capital of the Oruzgan province in south-central Afghanistan. The Taliban flogged a man accused of adultery in the city for the first time since the group took over Afghanistan in mid-August of last year. Photo by: Baryalai Ansari

It remains unclear whether the Taliban presented the man for sentencing by their courts prior to the flogging. The Taliban took the man with them after the incident. The fate of the man remains unclear so far.

Islamic Sharia Law specifies that unmarried men and women committing adultery should receive 100 lashes as punishment, but if they are married, the punishment instead is stoning to death.

The draconian interpretation of Sharia law by the Taliban is conceived as violation of human rights by human rights groups.

Alive in Afghanistan reached out to local Taliban officials to learn more about the flogging, but they were not available for comment.

This is the first time a man has been publicly flogged in Oruzgan since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August of last year.

A number of researchers and human rights activists in the province believe that the Taliban, on the one hand, want to shield itself from international criticism that may create obstacles to its legitimacy in the world but on the other hand, wants to implement its interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law.

A human rights activist in the province, who spoke to Alive in Afghanistan on the condition of anonymity, said, “If the Taliban continue to tell us something while acting differently, then trust will be completely destroyed. When the trust is destroyed, the Taliban will be destroyed.”

The activist went on to add, “We have to remember what happened to the previous government in Afghanistan. We lost faith in them and the people of Afghanistan did not find their place in the previous government.”

It’s been almost six months since the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, but no country in the world has so far recognized its government.