The Taliban stoned a young couple to death this weekend in northern Afghanistan because the couple allegedly committed adultery. The woman, Sadiqa, was engaged to another man when she and a man named Qayum attempted to elope. Qayum already had a wife at the time. A local tribal council (jirga) had ruled that the crime would be forgiven if Qayum returned and paid a monetary penalty, but the Taliban arrested the couple as soon as they returned to their town, Mullah Quli, which is controlled by the Taliban, according to the Associated Press.
According to eyewitnesses, the Taliban announced the stoning over loudspeakers at a local mosque. One witness said, "We were also asked to throw stones. After a while, the Taliban left. The woman was dead but the man was still alive...Some Taliban then came and shot him three times. The Taliban warned villagers if anyone does anything un-Islamic, this will be their fate," according to the BBC.
This incident is the most recent in a spate of executions the Taliban has claimed responsibility for. Last week, a pregnant widow suspected of adultery was publicly flogged 200 times before being executed in the Qades District in the Badghis Province of western Afghanistan. Earlier this month, ten non-profit healthcare workers were assassinated in Northern Afghanistan by the Taliban. Other recent incidents include a woman who worked at a non-profit who was murdered while leaving work in April, a couple who were shot outside of a mosque last year after being accused of eloping, and a Kandahar provincial council member and women's rights activist who wasmurdered outside of her home last year. During the Taliban's rule from 1996 to 2001, public executions and amputations were commonplace.
Media Resources: Associated press 8/16/10; BBC News 8/16/10; Feminist Newswire 8/10/10, 4/15/10, 4/15/09, 4/13/09
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .