Taliban Publicly Executes Woman Accused of Adultery


A three-minute video obtained by Reuters shows a man shooting a burqa-clad woman five times at close range with an automatic rifle, with about 150 men watching. Afghan officials say that the man carrying out the brutal public execution is a member of the Taliban and that the woman, who had been accused of adultery, was killed a week ago only an hour’s drive from the Afghan capital of Kabul, in the village of Qimchok in Shinwari district.

As the man with the rifle approaches the woman, another man says “Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it’s the wrong way. It is the order of Allah that she be executed.”

According to the Telegraph, the woman was reportedly named Najiba and was 22 years old. The first two shots missed her but the third struck her. The woman fell to the ground but the gunman continued to fire at her and the crowd shouted “Long live Islam, Long live Mujahideen (holy warriors).”

Provincial Governor Basir Salangi says that two Taliban commanders were sexually involved with the woman “either through rape or romantically, and decided to torture her and then kill her to settle a dispute between the two of them.”

Such public executions were common when the Taliban was in power in the 1990s. But as Ben Farmer writes in the Telegraph, footage and reports of these have more recently “emerged from rural areas where the militants’ retain influence and mete out their own justice.” They are highly worrisome evidence about the treatment of women in Afghanistan.

This most recent video suggests how very fragile is any progress that women in Afghanistan have made since Afghan forces, aided by the US, unseated the Taliban in 2001. Women have won basic rights in education, voting and work that were considered un-Islamic under the Taliban but, notes Reuters, many fear these will dissolve as the government of President Hamid Karzai and the US negotiate with the Taliban to end the conflict.

“After 10 years (of foreign intervention), and only a few kilometres from Kabul… how could this happen in front of all these people?” female lawmaker Fawzia Koofi said of the public execution in Parwan.

“This is happening under a government that claims to have made so much progress in women’s rights, claims to have changed women’s lives, and this is unacceptable. It is a huge step backwards,” said Koofi, a campaigner for girls’ education who wants to run in the 2014 presidential election.

Afghanistan’s independent human rights commission says that violence against women has risen sharply in the past year. Reuters describes a gruesome “honor killing” earlier last week in eastern Afghanistan, in which a 30-year-old woman and two of her children were beheaded by a man said to be her divorced husband.

The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission has condemned the public execution and the American embassy in Kabul has issued a statement about this “heinous crime.” The cruel and public killing of the woman is a horrific reminder of how violence remains a too-present reality for many women in Afghanistan.


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Photo by Anuradha Sengupta

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Leslie Cochrane
Leslie Cochrane2 years ago

What can be said that hasn't yet been said? What has not been done by men who hate women because of the effect they have on them through inspiring uncontrollable urges? What justification for the contemptuous treatment of women has not been used? When will truth and honor triumph within patriarchal religions such as Islam? The answer is never - because fundamentalist Islam was not founded on principles of just treatment and honor toward women in particular. As with all mono-deist patriarchal-evolved religions, women are to be controlled - or they will control men with their powerful ability to sexually "manipulate" and distract. The only stories that have not yet come up are tales of Taliban being tortured by women - and at this point, after thinking so often, that I couldn't be more appalled and disgusted by their monstrous behaviour, I would welcome such a turnaround as refreshingly entertaining.

Ana Marija R.
Ana R2 years ago

Thank you for the article & some comments.

Kathy Niell
Kathy Niell2 years ago

It takes two to commit adultery. Why didn't they kill the man, too? We know the answer: women are less than dirt to Islamists. Their actions against women are disgusting.

Xavier Pascual

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think radical muslims are mysogins.No rights for women at muslims countries.That's a shame.

alex l.
alex l.2 years ago

please don't ask "what about the man".
this culture kills women for being raped - while the rapist goes free.
this culture allows honour killings.

the men are NOT held to the same, evil, laws.

the point is not to serve God either - it is to hold 50% of the population in thrall. they are terrorized into submission.
most likely, this woman did nothing wrong - or her husband merely wanted a new wife.

never apply rationality or morality to misogyny.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams2 years ago

This is so sad that women in this culture are not valued in any way. What happened to the man? Was he killed or did someone castrate him? I doubt it.

holly masih
holly masih2 years ago

Did they execute the man that she committed the act with? Just asking.....

Sylvie Bertrand
Sylvie Bertrand2 years ago

Imagine...Dear John, I'm thinking of you...

Shannon Moody
Shannon Moody2 years ago

yah..and they try to convince us that islam is a peaceful religion.....um........ok?

Robyn O.
Robyn O.2 years ago

We cannot help these people and we shouldn't even try. We have spent our blood and money and there's still no improvement. If they want to live this way, we should let them.