The 23-year-old woman and 28-year-old man were killed because “they had an affair,” said Mohammad Ayob, the governor of Imam Sahib district in Kunduz province. “Two people were stoned to death by Taliban in Mullah Quli village late yesterday,” he said. The village is under the control of the Taliban.
Mullah Quli resident Abdul Satar said about 100 people, most of them Taliban insurgents, gathered in the village on Sunday evening as a statement was read out saying the pair had confessed to their affair. He said the man was married to someone else, and the woman was engaged. “The Taliban convicted both to stoning to death, some from the crowd started throwing stones at the couple until they died,” Mr Satar said.
The couple had their hands bound behind their backs and were forced to stand in an empty field as their sentence was carried out, he said. A local Taliban commander, who contacted media but refused to give his name, confirmed the killings.
“The couple confessed they had eloped together and based on their confession they were stoned to death,” he said.
Under Islamic Sharia law, sex between unmarried people is punishable by public beatings, while punishment for those caught in extra-marital affairs is death by stoning.
Earlier this month, the Taliban publicly flogged and then killed a pregnant widow for alleged “adultery” in western Badghis province. The killings are a grim reminder of the Taliban’s harsh 1996-2001 rule, when apparent crimes were brutally punished after summary trials. As well as lashings and death by stoning for alleged adulterers, people accused of theft regularly had their hands or feet amputated.
In regions that have come under Taliban control as the war drags towards the end of its ninth year, rough justice is meted out in the same manner, and includes execution of people accused of “spying” for foreign forces.