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Afghanistan Mulling Over Reintroduction of Public Stoning for Adulterers



It was only twelve years ago that the Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan with other allied forces to topple the regime of the Taliban. The hardline Islamic government had harbored Osama Bin Laden allowing him to train and prepare the 9/11 attacks on US soil. In the aftermath, women were finally allowed the right to be educated and vote which were fundamental rights denied to Afghani women under the Taliban. The change to an elected form of government changed the legal code abolishing the public stoning of adulterers which was as repugnant to many Afghanis as it was to Westerners.

"International donors, including those supporting the legal reform process, should send a clear message to President Hamid Karzai that inclusion of stoning in the new penal code would have an immediate adverse effect on funding for the government," the group said.

Now, government officials have proposed reintroducing the practice of public stoning for married adulterers and lashings for unmarried participants. Naturally, Western governments that have provided material assistance to building up the impoverished nation after the fall of the Taliban are demanding that President Hamid Karzai strongly denounce the proposed measure and effectively squash it like a bug.

But Mohammad Ashraf Azimi, the head of the Justice Ministry's punishment laws department, said such a proposal had not yet been submitted for review.

"As a member of the department for the punishment laws, I haven't seen this part of the law they are mentioning," he said. "I don't know where they found it and why they are emphasizing it. We are the people working on it and we haven't seen it."

Foreign governments have no will to see such efforts to modernize a nation be discarded in favor of arcane practices which advocate human torture and cruelty. The calls are coming in to President Karzai to act with haste against the measure, but he has yet to speak out on the matter.

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Karen is a Toronto based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadaNow since May of 2011, covering many topics including politics and world issues. Prior to her work writing and editing for eCanadaNow, she worked as a freelance journalist. You can email Karen at [Karene at]


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