The Taliban stoned a young couple to death this weekend in northern Afghanistan because the couple allegedly committed adultery. The woman, Sadiqa, was engaged to another man when she and a man named Qayum attempted to elope. Qayum already had a wife at the time. A local tribal council (jirga) had ruled that the crime would be forgiven if Qayum returned and paid a monetary penalty, but the Taliban arrested the couple as soon as they returned to their town, Mullah Quli, which is controlled by the Taliban, according to the Associated Press.
According to eyewitnesses, the Taliban announced the stoning over loudspeakers at a local mosque. One witness said, “We were also asked to throw stones. After a while, the Taliban left. The woman was dead but the man was still alive…Some Taliban then came and shot him three times. The Taliban warned villagers if anyone does anything un-Islamic, this will be their fate,” according to the BBC.
This incident is the most recent in a spate of executions the Taliban has claimed responsibility for. Last week, a pregnant widow suspected of adultery was publicly flogged 200 times before being executed in the Qades District in the Badghis Province of western Afghanistan. Earlier this month, ten non-profit healthcare workers were assassinated in Northern Afghanistan by the Taliban. Other recent incidents include a woman who worked at a non-profit who was murdered while leaving work in April, a couple who were shot outside of a mosque last year after being accused of eloping, and a Kandahar provincial council member and women’s rights activist who wasmurdered outside of her home last year. During the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001, public executions and amputations were commonplace.