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HRW Wants Karzai to Reject Stoning Proposal

HRW Wants Karzai to Reject Stoning Proposal

KABUL – An influential global rights watchdog on Monday asked the Afghan government to immediately reject a proposal to restore stoning as punishment for adultery. A working group, led by the Ministry of Justice, is assisting in drafting a new penal code outlining provisions on “moral crimes” involving sex outside of marriage. The code suggests stoning to deter the crime.

Human Rights Watch urged international donors, including those supporting the legal reform process, to send a clear message to President Hamid Karzai that inclusion of stoning in the new penal code would have an adverse effect on funding for his government.

HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said: “It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment. Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal.”

Under the draft provisions, a couple found by a court to have engaged in sexual intercourse outside a legal marriage shall be sentenced to stoning to death if the adulterer or adulteress is married. The provisions say the “implementation of stoning shall take place in public in a predetermined location.”  If the adulterer or adulteress is unmarried, the sentence shall be whipping 100 lashes.

“Donors need to make clear that international support to Afghanistan’s government is not a blank check,” Adams demanded. “International aid should generously support health and education and other crucial needs, but donor money shouldn’t pay for backsliding to Taliban-era abuses.” (PAN)

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