An appalling video has surfaced that shows what news reports have said is the execution of an Afghan woman in Parwan province by Taliban commanders for alleged adultery. The video shows a woman who has been identified as a 22 year old woman named Najiba, sitting in the dirt as a man walks up behind her and shoots her multiple times.
In the video, a crowd of men has gathered to watch the execution. As the woman is shot once, then three times, and then eventually nine times, the crowd cheers.
Amnesty International is seeking further information about the facts of the case but multiple news sources have reported that the woman was accused of adultery by two Taliban commanders who staged a fake trial and may have used the charge as a way to “save face” as they fought about the woman.
Without a concrete plan of action, flowery proclamations and tough condemnations will not stop the next woman from being executed or the next girls’ school from being the target of ruthless attacks.
The Parwan provincial women’s director Shah Jan Yazdan Parast spoke out against the killing stating, “women suffered a lot during the Taliban regime. . . we never want their return.”
This shocking murder highlights yet again the precarious state of women’s human rights in Afghanistan. Amnesty International has written before about the need for a U.S. Action Plan for Afghan women to support the human rights of women of Afghanistan. In May, we released an open letter to Presidents Obama and Karzai asking them to take swift action to protect women’s human rights as the U.S and allied troops withdraw from Afghanistan and turn over security to local Afghan forces.
It is clear that a plan of action cannot come soon enough. Our research shows that violence against women is increasing; in 2010 alone, dozens of girls’ schools were closed due to violence and threats against women’s human rights defenders are growing.
The news of this public execution comes on the heels of an international donors’ conference in Tokyo this past weekend where the U.S and other states pledged $16 billion in civilian aid to Afghanistan. At the conference, President Karzai affirmed the need to respect Afghanistan’s Constitution, particularly its guarantees of rights and freedoms for all Afghan men and women, as minimum conditions for any peace process outcome.
We agree. Any peace that does not include women and support their human rights is no peace at all. Without a concrete plan of action, flowery proclamations and tough condemnations will not stop the next woman from being executed or the next girls’ school from being the target of ruthless attacks.
Join Amnesty and tell President Obama that Afghan women’s rights are non-negotiable!