Taliban defends reintroduction of public flogging after criticism

Kabul, Afghanistan - Taliban authorities on Saturday defended the reintroduction of public flogging in Afghanistan, following an international outcry.

A Taliban fighter stands guard in the Dasht-e-Barchi area in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A Taliban fighter stands guard in the Dasht-e-Barchi area in Kabul, Afghanistan.  © STR / AFP

The de facto Afghan authorities condemned a recent statement by the United Nations Human Rights Office and some Western diplomats made regarding mass public floggings.

In a statement, the Taliban government's chief spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that calling the Islamic Penal Code of flogging an "inhumane and cruel act" is a disrespect to Islam and a violation of international principles.

"Countries and organizations should not allow people to make irresponsible and provocative statements on their behalf about the blessed religion of Islam," Mujahid added.

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Since returning to power last year, the Taliban have started the gradual resumption of their strict interpretation of Islam. The group has also curtailed human rights and imposed restrictions on women such as blocking teenage girls from getting an education.

On Wednesday, the Taliban punished 14 convicts with flogging in a sports stadium in the country’s province of Logar while hundreds of people were in attendance.

During the first Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, floggings, amputations, and stonings were carried out in public too.

Cover photo: STR / AFP

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