Kabul, Jan 17 (EFE).- Nine men convicted of “theft and sodomy” were flogged by the Taliban in a packed football stadium on Tuesday in the Afghan city of Kandahar, according to the Supreme Court in what is the latest public punishment carried out by the fundamentalists.
“Today, nine people have been punitively punished on charges of robbery and sodomy by the appellate court of Kandahar province,” the apex court said in a statement.
The flogging was attended by senior local officials of the interim Taliban government who gave speeches before the punishments were carried out, according to the statement.
An eyewitness, who requested anonymity, told EFE that hundreds of people went to the scene to witness the sentence being carried out.
The practice of administering corporal punishment or even executing people in public has been reintroduced in Afghanistan by the Taliban since their return to power in August last year, a move that has been repeatedly criticized by the United Nations and the international community.
In December, 10 UN human rights experts called on the Taliban authorities to end public executions and corporal punishments.
Brutal public punishments, such as hanging, amputations, stoning and flogging, were the norm during the previous Taliban regime between 1996 and 2001, based on their rigid interpretation of Islam and strict social code known as Pastunwali.
Shortly after taking control of Kabul, and despite their promises of change, the Taliban killed four kidnappers and hung their bodies in public in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan.
Along with the return of public punishments, women have found themselves with increasingly fewer rights and greater restrictions, such as a ban on secondary and higher education, gender segregation in public places, lack of access to public services, the imposition of the Islamic veil, and having to be accompanied by a male relative on long journeys. EFE