By: Rukhshana Media
Eleven people, including a woman, have been whipped and sent to jail in Kandahar and Badakhshan provinces after being accused of crimes including adultery, sodomy, and robbery.
The Taliban provincial office in Kandahar said in a newsletter on Tuesday that they have flogged nine people in Ahmadshahi Stadium.
An eyewitness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said more than one thousand people attended the flogging where the nine people received between 30 to 39 lashes each. They were also given various prison sentences.
Two people accused of sodomy received jail sentences of 15 months each. A third person, arrested for the second time on charges of robbery, was sentenced to 30 lashes and 20 months imprisonment.
Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, said that more people attended the flogging than the football matches.
“Thousands of people came to the flogging. Today, if there was a football game, maybe not even a hundred people would show up,” he said.
“Most of the people came from the districts and brought tea with them as if they had come to a picnic,” he added.
A person who knows some of the accused said he knew two of them were guilty of their accused crime of stealing, but said they had done so out of desperation of unemployment and poverty.
“Mohammed and Habibullah were caught together while stealing,” he said. “Habibullah had kidney surgery some time ago and is very poor and the same goes for Mohammad, who is the only child in his family.”
Others have said some people confessed to crimes they did not commit after being beaten up so badly by Taliban guards.
“There are many innocent people in the prison,” a source, who was released from Kandahar central prison a month ago, told Rukhshana Media. “The Taliban beat them to such an extent that they were forced to confess to any crime.”
In Badakhshan province, the Taliban lashed a man and a woman on Tuesday morning who were accused of having sex outside of marriage, according to a source who knew the accused by name.
The court hearing was held in front of the Taliban military personnel, tribal elders, and representatives of 120 villages of Shahada district in central Badakhshan’s Baharak district. It was the home district of the male accused, the source said.
*All sources who spoke to Rukhshana requested anonymity