Video of Afghan Couple Stoned by Taliban

by Florian Flade

Alleged adulterer Siddiqa wainting for her death

The incident occurred in August 2010. Hundreds of villagers in the Dashte Archi District of Kunduz Province, North Afghanistan, attended the prosecution of an Afghan couple accused of being adulterers. 25year-old Siddiqa and her alleged (married) lover Khayyam were captured by local Taliban when they returned from Eastern Afghanistan border are with Pakistan to where they had fled. The family had lured the young couple back to Kunduz were they now faced the death sentence.

Only recently Afghan officials obtained a mobile phone video showing the „trial“ of Siddiqa and Khayyam, BBC reports. The disturbing footage shows a crowd of villagers from Mullah Quli Village listening as two local Mullahs announce in the name of the Taliban the sentence found for the alleged adulterers: death by stoning.

Siddiqa, who was allegedly about to marry a local man, is then seen clad in a blue Burqa, being buried in the ground up to her chest as she awaits her punishment. The mob then throws stones at the young woman, hitting her torso and head. Siddiqa´s blue burqa is soon turning red from her blood. She appears dead but is apparently alive. While the Mullah tells the crowd to leave her to die, one masked Taliban fighters closes in and shoots the woman in the head – three times.

Then Siddiqa´s lover, Khayyam, is brought forward. He is blindfolded and handcuffed. For a short moment he looks into the camera, then Taliban order him to lay on the ground, face down. The stone throwing begins. Khayyam screams and cries as more and more stones – some as big as oranges – hit his body. After a few minutes Khayyam´s body does not move anymore, he is dead.

Eventhough hundreds of locals attended the public stoning in Dashte Archi last August, police did not arrest anyone related to the crime. The reason was a very simple one: they did not know who was responsible for the stone throwing. With the mobile phone footage at hand, Afghan police is now able to identify those who killed the young couple.

„Special police investigators will be sent there, we will find them and they will be brought to justice,“ General Daoud, the regional police commander, told BBC.

Taliban´s spokesman Zabibullah Mujahed had confirmed the stoning in Kunduz and told the press media, the punishment was according to Islamic law a just and fair one for adulterers.

Far more concerning than the unwillingness of security forces and law-inforcement to hunt down the murderers is the fact that the Taliban were obviously able to carry out the stoning in a public area of Kunduz – a Province with NATO military presence. German troops as well as US forces are stationed in this increasingly dangerous region of Afghanistan. It seems nine years after the brutal regime of the Taliban fell, NATO troops are more concerned with protecting themselves than protecting Afghans from Taliban violence.

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