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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

February-03-99

Taliban Uses Torture As Punishment

Under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, amputations of hands and feet are common punishment for thieves, while murderers are publically executed and women are tortured for violating Taliban rules.

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital in September 1996 they brought their own harsh kind of "Islamic" law to the country. Men, for instance, must keep a full beard at all times. If they are caught trimming their beards, they can receive 5 publically-given lashes and up to 3 weeks in jail. Playing music and owning books published outside of Afghanistan is also considered a crime under Taliban law.

Women, however, have faced some of the most severe laws and punishments in the country. They can be given up to 100 lashes if they are caught spending time with any man other than a close male relative. Women cannot leave their homes without wearing a burqa, a potato-sac like garment that covers the women's entire body with only a mesh opening over the eyes.

When trying to decide punishment for homosexual acts, the Taliban initially planned to bury the apprehended up to their necks in sand and then drop a wall on them. They finally decided to place the accused in front of a brick wall and then use a tank to send it crashing down. Anyone who survives is exonerated.

Media Resources: AP - February 2, 1999


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