A group of UN-appointed human rights experts on Thursday called on the Taliban to end “brutal and undignified” forms of punishment in Afghanistan immediately.
Ten Special Rapporteurs, including Richard Bennett and members of the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, called on Taliban de facto authorities to end “brutal and undignified” forms of punishment, including stoning, flogging, and burying people under walls.
The experts expressed serious concerns about using capital punishment without fair trial guarantees and the discrimination women face in the judicial system.
The statement said that the urgent call by the group came in response to an announcement by the Taliban-appointed Supreme Court in favour of brutal punishment.
“The de facto deputy chief of the court announced on 4 May that they had sentenced 175 individuals to “retribution in kind” punishments, and 37 to be stoned. Dozens of others were condemned to “crimes against God” punishments such as lashing,” said the press statement.
The experts noted that “women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotypes against them… held by the exclusively male judiciary”.
They said that stoning or being buried alive under a wall constituted torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. “These cruel punishments are contrary to international law.”
According to a recent report by the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in the country, 274 men, 58 women and two boys have been publicly flogged, and one judicially sanctioned execution has been carried out within the last six months alone.
Afghanistan is a signatory to international agreements that forbid torture, cruel, inhumane, or humiliating treatment, and discrimination against women.
“We urge the de facto authorities to establish a moratorium on the death penalty immediately and all forms of corporal punishment”, including flogging and amputation, “each of which constitutes torture or another form of cruel and inhuman punishment,” the experts said.