20 people were publicly flogged on Wednesday in the southern Afghan province of Helmand for alleged theft, adultery, and other offenses, local authorities said.
The lashings allegedly took place at the sports stadium in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of southern Helmand on Wednesday, December 14, according to Mohammad Qasim Riyaz, a spokesperson for the governor’s office.
According to Riyaz, each man received between 35 and 39 lashings, and the penalties were administered in front of locals, elders, and government officials in the province. He further said that several of the convicts also received prison sentences.
Since assuming control of the country in August 2021, Afghanistan’s new rulers have implemented strict laws that adhere to their version of Sharia, or Islamic law.
This comes after the first public execution in Afghanistan for retribution, which sparked outrage and the request for an immediate halt from countries and international organizations, including the United Nations.
According to Zabihullah Mujahid, the top government spokesman, the victim’s father carried out the execution in front of a large crowd of onlookers in western Farah province while using an assault weapon.
Jeremy Lawrence, the spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Council office, condemned the Afghan government’s action as “deeply disturbing” and asked it to “act swiftly to prohibit [the] use of the death penalty in its entirety.”