The Afghan authorities have started publicly implementing Sharia hudood punishments for the first time since they took power a year ago.
Local media is reporting that in Zabul province two women and a man were publicly lashed 39 times after being convicted of adultery.
Rahmatullah Hammad, the head of information and culture of the Islamic Emirate in Zabul, gave details to the media. He said: “In the city of Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, six people were arrested a while ago. After the investigation and proof of the crime, the court of appeals issued a public punishment. They were convicted. A woman and a man were punished for adultery, and each was given 39 lashes.”
According to local media, the couple were living together unmarried and engaging in a sexual relationship. In addition to lashings, the convicted man was sentenced to six years in prison and the convicted woman was given two years.
A second woman who lived in the same building as the couple was whipped 20 times and sentenced to six years in prison for permitting the sexual relationship to occur.
Separately, two men were given 20 lashes after being arrested on charges of robbery in the same province. They were sentenced to one month in prison.
“The decision [was] made based on Sharia, it is natural that it will come into effect in Islamic governments,” Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Taliban, told local news outlet Tolo News.
Last month the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada, called for the implementation of Sharia law in Afghanistan, stressing the need to preserve Islamic values.
He told a gathering of provincial governors in Kandahar that there was a need to solve every problem through Sharia and not man-made laws.
“Over the past 20 years, there have been a lot of anti-Sharia and Islam rhetoric and laws which are made by the people are not implementable,” Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid was also quoted as saying.