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sad woman in depression and despair crying covered her face on black dark background

Source: Evgeny Atamanenko / Getty

As a woman stands in a hole dug into the stony ground, only her head pokes above the surface and the men surround her. Then they begin to pick up rocks and hurl them at her again and again from close range.

Her agonized cries grow louder as the barrage of stones intensifies.  According to the provincial governor the barbaric murder took place in a Taliban-controlled village in central Afghanistan last week.

Video of it, apparently filmed on a cell phone, has circulated on social media.  Seema Joyenda, the governor of Ghor province said the 19-year-old woman, identified as Rokhshana, had been forced to marry against her will and recently fled with another man.

Joyenda said the couple was caught after two days, and the Taliban leader of the village ordered that Rokhshana be stoned to death for adultery.  The killing emphasizes the widespread problem of violence against women in Afghanistan.

Earlier this year, the brutal killing of a 27-year-old woman by a mob in Kabul, the capital, stirred outrage both inside the country and around the globe.  Joyenda, one of two female governors in Afghanistan, said provincial authorities had so far not been able to do anything about the atrocity in the village of Aurdak, which the Taliban have controlled for nearly three years.

Joyenda said she has asked President Ashraf Ghani for reinforcements to help retake places like Aurdak but doesn’t know when she will have enough security forces and weapons.  Attacks on women and disregard for their rights have been widely documented by international organizations in Afghanistan.

A report in the same month by Amnesty International raised concerns about the violation of women’s rights activists in the country, not only by the Taliban and tribal warlords, but also by government officials.


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