STOP STONING IN AFGHANISTAN
In 2005, Aamina, a 29-year-old married woman, was publicly stoned to death on the basis of being accused of adultery in Argo, Faizabad, Afghanistan. This decision was taken by the local religious leader, Mullah Mohamad Yosuf. After the stoning, the provincial police chief confirmed it and said that the government would make investigations on why this happened. However, it is 2011 and no action has been taken to redeem the dignity of Aamina and prevent the stoning of other women.
In August of 2010, Sediqa and Khayam of Kunduz province were stoned by their community and Taliban members after the Taliban ordered this public execution, because they had fell in love and ran away from their families. They were tricked into coming back to their area to get married and were stoned publicly by about 200 residents of the village. While the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman and the Provincial Governor condemned this brutality, the head of the Ulema Council in Kunduz Province, Mawlawi Abdul Yaqub, said to a New York Times Journalist that stoning to death was the appropriate punishment for an illegal sexual relationship. No further action was taken to prosecute those involved in this criminal act of stoning.
On Thursday, November 10, 2011, a mother and daughter were shot in Ghazni province after they had stones thrown at them. While still debated whether or not this is a case of stoning, the fact remains that for weeks, the religious leaders in the area had been giving “fatwa” for the stoning of those involved in adultery.
While the Afghan Civil Code clarifies that cases of adultery the case must be brought to the Afghan legal court and not be decided on by religious leaders, Aamena and other victims of stoning are not given a fair trial and the criminals involved in their stoning have not been brought to justice. In short, little or no action has been taken by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to prevent stoning of individuals in Afghanistan.
These acts of stoning women without a trial are not only illegal but also against the Islamic law, as articulated through Sunna, saying and doing of Prophet Muhammad, clarify that If married man and woman are caught in the act of adultery and there are four witnesses who explicitly see it, then both can be sentenced to death by stoning, Rajm. If unmarried men and women are seen during the act of adultery, the punishment for both of them is one hundred lashes. The restrictions put on this law, including the high level of proof it requires, are designed to protect individuals, especially women, not be used against them. In none of the cases above, have there been four witnesses who have explicitly seen adultery and women and men have been stoned based on mere accusations, never clearly proven to be true.
In addition to the violation of the laws in Afghanistan, the act of stoning is brutal and a violation of human rights. As a gathering of Afghan youth and women’s organizations, humans rights organization and civil society activists, we urge the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to take immediate action against the brutal act of stoning to protect the human rights of men and women in Afghanistan. We demand the following actions from the government, which is responsible for the wellbeing of all its people and justice for all individuals in the country:
- The government of Afghanistan must prosecute those involved in sentencing individuals to stoning or in implementing stoning.
- The government of Afghanistan must publicly condemn stoning using media through a statement by the President Hamid Karzai himself.
- Political pressure must be applied on the Ulema Council to condemn stoning, rather than supporting it.
- Economic and political pressure must be applied to local governments that have not been able or willing to prosecute those involved in stoning or prevent them.
We also urge the United Nations, European Union, and other international bodies to take strong actions to pressure the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to take a stand against the stoning of individuals.
Please sign this petition and/or sign your organization’s name to support our advocacy for ending stoning in Afghanistan!
Petition Supported by:
Young Women for Change, Afghan Women's Network, Afghan Youth Initiative, Pashtun Organization for Women, Women for Afghan Women, British Afghan Women's Society, Armanshahr Foundation/OPEN ASIA, The Safe World International Foundation, Foundation for Defending Afghan Women, Hela, Medica Afghanistan Organization, Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, 50% Campaign, Committee or the Political Participation of Women, SELA Foundation, Afghan Intellectuals Network, Hadia, Femin Ijtihad, Negahe Zan, Stop Street Harassment