Recently, a 19 year old Afghan woman was stoned to death after she was accused of adultery. The video of her stoning that has been widely shared on the internet shows that she was forced to sit in a deep hole dug for her in her home village in Ghor, a remote province in western Afghanistan. The video shows dozens of men sitting and standing around the hole pelting rocks at her.
According to several news reports in the Afghan media, at the age of 13, Rokhshana was forced to marry an old man who had lost both his arms and legs. She refused to accept the decision and eloped with her boyfriend around her age to another village. She was arrested by the security forces and was handed over to her parents. For the second time again, her father decided to force her marry another old man. Rokhshana refused to accept the second marriage as well and was on the run with her boyfriend; this time to another village. To her bad luck, she was arrested halfway to her new destination.
In the meantime, a local Taliban leader had demanded Rokhshana’s father to force her marry his brother, but her father had decided to marry her to a man he had chosen. While Rokhshana was on her way to another village, she was arrested by local Taliban members; who within hours demanded for her release around $80,000 (5 million in Afghan currency) from her farmer father. Rokhshana’s father could not pay the money. Within hours, the local Taliban determined her fate and decreed she would be stoned to death for adultery. The Taliban had asked her father to attend his daughters stoning, which he did.
The Office of the President of Afghanistan has strongly condemned the brutal killing of Rokhshana and called it “extrajudicial, criminal & un-Islamic.” President Ashraf Ghani has assigned a delegation to investigate the stoning of Rokhshana and bring those to justice who have committed the crime.
Some of the other local religious leaders have also condemned the stoning and called on the government to bring the perpetrators to justice. Lawmakers in Kabul as well as civil society members and other politicians condemned the brutal and inhumane killing of Rokhshana, too.
The stoning and lashing of women was a common method of punishing women during the Taliban’s time. However, wherever the Taliban has control, they still use this barbaric method of punishment to terrorize women. Rokhshana was not the first victim of the Taliban stoning, but a number of women have been stoned to death since the collapse of the Taliban regime in late 2001.
Media Resources: Tolo News 11/9/15; Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty 11/11/15