Newspaper article International New York Times

Taliban Publicly Kill 2 Afghan Women ; Pregnant 22-Year-Old Had Been Accused by Her Husband of Adultery

Newspaper article International New York Times

Taliban Publicly Kill 2 Afghan Women ; Pregnant 22-Year-Old Had Been Accused by Her Husband of Adultery

Article excerpt

One victim was killed in her yard; the other execution was captured on a video.

Taliban insurgents publicly executed two women, one of them in an apparent so-called honor killing, in northern Afghanistan recently, according to Afghan officials, members of the victims' families and a video posted online.

The killings, which were thought to be unrelated, took place in recent months in northern Jowzjan Province, in predominantly Uzbek areas where Taliban presence has traditionally been weak except among ethnic Pashtuns.

The killings came to light after a video was circulated of one of them and officials discovered evidence of the other.

In one of the cases, a pregnant 22-year-old woman named Rabia, a mother of two young children, was accused by her husband of adultery, tried and convicted by the Taliban on the spot, and then publicly shot three times. Members of her family said that her husband had concocted the adultery charge because of a land dispute between their families, and that he had wanted to inherit his wife's interests in the land.

"They buried her without even allowing her family to participate in her funeral," said Shakera, her aunt, who like many Afghans has only one name.

"I know she was a very innocent woman," Shakera said, speaking by telephone from her home in the provincial capital, Shibarghan. "She did not have the heart to be unfaithful."

Another motive for the Taliban to kill her, Shakera said, was that two of Rabia's uncles were militia commanders loyal to the Uzbek leader, Abdul Rashid Dostum, who is also first vice president of Afghanistan.

According to the deputy police chief of Jowzjan Province, Col. Abdul Hafeez, the apparent killing took place in Memlek village in the district of Faizabad. The district governor of Faizabad, Saira Shekib, who is one of Afghanistan's few female governors, said it had been personally carried out by the Taliban's shadow governor in the district, whom she identified as Qari Rasool.

The killings were reminiscent of similar executions carried out frequently from 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan and killed many women convicted of so-called moral crimes by shooting them in the head at the National Stadium before large crowds. …

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