Taliban Organizes Mass Floggings for ‘Disrespect, Adultery’ and More

On June 4th, the unofficial rulers of Afghanistan, the Taliban, who have been in power without opposition since 2021, publicly flogged sixty-three individuals for offenses as diverse as adultery and leaving one’s family.

Afghan media cited locals as saying they were in favor of public executions under the Islamist reign of the Taliban terror group. The incident was described as the latest in a string of more frequent stadium punishment performances. The floggings were denounced by the United Nations (UN), which expressed its strong disapproval of the widespread and ongoing use of brutal punishment in Afghanistan.

During the majority of the 1990s, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan as a totalitarian dictatorship based on an extreme interpretation of Islamic law (sharia). This interpretation effectively confined women under house imprisonment unless they were covered by a burqa and had a male guardian.

On August 15, 2021, the de facto administration of the nation was once again the Taliban, with no opposition, after the announcement by President Joe Biden to prolong the Afghan War for another 20 years, thereby violating an agreement that had been negotiated with the Taliban by President Donald J. Trump, his predecessor. In response to the agreement’s breach, the Taliban invaded the nation and deposed the Kabul government, which had been supported by the US. This occurred during a disorganized and poorly orchestrated U.S. exit from the country under the watch of the Biden Administration.

In the flogging in Sar-e-Pul province, forty-eight males and 15 women were each given a penalty of 15–39 lashes. In addition, victims were handed jail terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. Arrest warrants were issued for these people for a variety of offenses, according to local authorities. These included adultery, sodomy, armed robbery, disrespect, and running away from home.

During the subsequent Taliban rule in Afghanistan, it was not uncommon to utilize a stadium as a platform to punish offenders in a public spectacle. The Taliban verified in February that an offender in Jawzjan province had been executed. There have been rumors that the Taliban sanctioned the brother of the supposed victim to assassinate him in front of a packed stadium of people. The man had been shot five times.