News of recent brutalities by the Taliban in Afghanistan have emerged after a video surfaced showing a Taliban militant publicly executing a woman with an AK-47 rifle. The discovery of the video led investigators to another public execution that took place in the Jowzjan Province, a region in northern Afghanistan where Taliban control has historically been weak. In that case, a 22-year-old pregnant woman and mother to two young children named Rabia was executed in an honor killing. Rabia had been accused by her husband of committing adultery, was convicted in a slapdash trial and then publicly shot to death. Rabia’s parents said she was innocent of adultery and that her husband had fabricated the adultery accusations amid a land dispute with her family. He stood to inherit her land rights in the event of her death.
“They buried her without even allowing her family to participate in her funeral,” her aunt, Shakera, told The New York Times in a telephone interview. “I know she was a very innocent woman. She did not have the heart to be unfaithful.” Rabia’s uncles were members of the panel that ordered her death, two men said to be loyal to the militia commander in the region.
The killing depicted in the video that surfaced occurred about four months ago, though the video just came to light last week. Footage shows a woman clad in a blue burqa sitting on the ground. She was convicted of killing her husband by a loud mob of people who were on hand and then immediately sentenced to death, which occurred moments later when a Taliban militant, standing behind her, pulled the trigger of an AK-47 from point-blank range. The woman’s identity is still not known.
The brutal killings hearken back to the late 1990s, when the Taliban had a tight grip on the country and public executions of women were commonplace. Over the last year, there have been several other barbaric killings in Afghanistan that have triggered global outrage, including the death of Farkhunda, a “totally innocent” woman who was killed by an angry mob last year after being accused of burning the Koran. The prison sentences of her killers were later reduced by Afghanistan’s Supreme Court.
Read the full story at The New York Times.