July 10, 2012 1:12:00 am
MATTHEW ROSENBERG & SANGAR RAHIMI
The scene that Afghan officials say was caught on video last month near Kabul was as horrific as it was once common in Afghanistan: a Taliban fighter executing a woman with repeated shots to the back of her head as his compatriots and scores of villagers watch,and then cheer.
The crime the woman was accused of: adultery.
The video,which has begun circulating in Kabul,recalls the Talibans five-year reign in Afghanistan,when public executions were advertised on the radio. Adultery was among the crimes punishable by death.
Best of Express Premium
The execution captured on the video took place in the Shinwari district of Parwan Province,in central Afghanistan,near Kabul. It occurred on or around June 23,said Col. Masjidi,a senior provincial police official.
Afghan officials offered conflicting accounts of what transpired in the village,Qol-i-Heer.
Colonel Masjidi said the womans real husband was a member of a village militia that had slain a local Taliban leader. The woman was executed in revenge on trumped up charges of adultery,he said. Roshna Khalid,a spokeswoman for the provincial government,said the woman was killed for having multiple affairs with Taliban fighters. Khalid said the womans name was Najiba,and that she was in her 20s and did not have children.
A third official,Qari Abdul Rahman Ahmadi,a member of the provincial council,said the woman had run off with a Taliban commander,who in turn was accused of passing information to the government. He was shot in a nearby village before Najiba was moved to Qol-i-Heer to be executed by her husband,he said.
At the outset of the video,which runs nearly four minutes,Najiba is a peripheral figure,seen kneeling in the background. Taliban fighters mill about in the foreground. One of the Taliban says the Quran prohibits adultery. Killing the woman is Gods order and decree, he says. If the issue was avenging deaths,we would beg for her amnesty. But in this case,God says,You should finish her. He concludes by saying,Its the order of God,and now it is her husbands work to punish her. Then someone else says,Give him a Kalashnikov. The man identified as her husband approaches Najiba from behind. Several Taliban fighters can he heard whispering,Get closer to her. He shoots Najiba nine times. The third shot jolts her body backward,leaving it flat on the ground. He keeps shooting.
The Taliban begin cheering,and the villagers join in. One of the Taliban says,Take my video,too, and can be seen smiling,with ammunition strapped to his vest. The video ends with the executioner shooting Najibas body four more times.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.