In a public ceremony watched by thousands, an Afghan woman and her mother were lashed for "immoral behavior."
The daughter was convicted of "immoral behavior" for having a sexual affair and received 100 lashes. Since she was unmarried, the daughter was spared the Taliban's punishment for adultery, which is stoning to death. The mother was charged with having knowledge of her daughter's affair and failing to report it to the Taliban. She received 39 lashes. Both women cried with each strike of the lash.
After beating the women, Taliban official Mullah Mohammed Sadik denounced Western opposition to the Taliban's treatment of women and girls and declared that the Taliban's laws are necessary to protect women's honor.
On Thursday, President Clinton had denounced the Taliban, saying "I think it is one of the worst examples of systematic human rights abuses in the world today, and a terrible perversion of Islam."
In direct response to Clinton's remarks, Afghan envoy in Islamabad Maulvi Saeed-ur-Rahman Haqqani said that Clinton "has no knowledge about our religion" and claimed that the Taliban "has ensured protection of life and honour to the womenfolk in Afghanistan in accordance with Islamic principles. Hundred per cent Afghan women are happy with Taliban policies."
Media Resources: Reuters, AP and NNI - April 15-17, 1999