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Alleged Stoning of Woman in Pakistan Condemned by US

Last week, the US Department of State released a statement condemning the alleged stoning of a woman by members of the Taliban in northwest Pakistan. “The vicious attack…violates all terms of human decency and is a chilling example of the cowardly disregard violent extremists have for human life,” US Department of State spokesman Philip J. Crowley said in a State Department press release. He continued, “there is no justification for such barbaric and cruel treatment of a human being.”

A video of the stoning, which appears to have taken place in Orakzai, Pakistan, has been widely circulated on the internet. According to Reuters, the graphic footage shows a hooded woman stretched across the ground as a group of men throw large rocks at her until she dies. The video was released by Al Aan, a television channel based in Dubai, which focuses on Arab women’s issues. Al Aan reports that the woman was stoned because she had been seen with a man.

The authenticity and date of the video have not been verified, though Gayle Lemmon, deputy director of the Council of Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy Program, told ABC News that “it is consistent with videos that have been coming from Taliban-controlled areas since the ’90s.” A similar video was released last year, depicting Pakistani Islamists flogging a teenage girl because she allegedly had an affair. As part of a number of suicide bombing campaigns, Taliban insurgents have bombed hundreds of schools for girls in the area.

Sources:

US Department of State Press Release 9/28/10; Reuters 9/28/10; ABC News 9/24/10

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