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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Amnesty International Condemns the Stoning to Death of an Afghan Couple by the Taliban

WASHINGTON -

Amnesty International
has condemned the first Taliban executions by stoning carried out in Afghanistan
since 2001.

A couple was stoned to death on Sunday for ‘eloping,’ in a Taliban-controlled
village in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan, Amnesty International confirmed
today.

“The stoning of this couple is a heinous crime. The Taliban and other
insurgent groups are growing increasingly brutal in their abuses against
Afghans,”
said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director.  

The stoning came two days after Afghanistan’s highest Islamic religious
body, the Council of Ulema, called on the government to more strictly enforce
physical shari’a punishments, known as hudood, as a concession
to the Taliban in an attempt to end the war.  Under the Taliban, hudood
punishments included public stoning, amputations and lashing.

“The Afghan government and the Council of Ulema must condemn the use of
stoning following this sickening Taliban execution,” said Zarifi. “Afghan
leaders must stand against stoning and other appalling human rights abuses
masquerading as ‘justice,' no matter how much pressure they are under
to deal with the Taliban.”
 
This stoning is the first to be confirmed in Afghanistan since the fall
of the Taliban in 2001.  Local sources told Amnesty International
that the couple had eloped to Pakistan, but returned to their village of
Mullah Qulli in Archi district of Kunduz after being told that their families
had agreed to marry them.  Instead, they were stoned to death on August
15 by a Taliban council.

Amnesty International has warned that
the Afghan government should not sacrifice human rights, particularly the
rights of women and minorities, in the name of reconciliation with the
Taliban and other insurgent groups.

The organization has recently called on the Afghan government to seek the
assistance of the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes
and crimes against humanity by the Taliban and all other parties to the
war in Afghanistan.  

###

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

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