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AFGHANISTAN JUSTICE FOR ADULTRESS-PUBLICLY EXECUTED BY HUSBAND
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Executed … this frame grab shows Najiba (centre) sitting at the edge of a ditch shortly before being executed after being accused of adultery with a Taliban commander. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

There sure is nothing like a public execution to arouse the dear public. Two hundred years ago, we’d be pushing our way to the front of the gallows or the guillotine’s platform just to hear the crack of the neck being snapped or to gasp as the doomed head bounced into its basket. If providence allowed, we’d even get close enough to spit in the face of the condemned.

The king/crook/traitor is dead! Hooray!

But, now, with our supersonic laptops and co-joined online lives, we can sit in private, trembling with pre-emptive disgust, and watch as those arousing words:  “This video contains images with may distress some viewers” scroll onto our screen.

Like that genre of film called Horror that encourages us to enjoy the murder and dismemberment of various poor sods, we squint and hide behind fingers but, as our bravery grows, we drop the pretence of shock.

And, here, we see the young woman by the ditch gunned down by the furious cuckold, his grey-speckled beard suggesting there was quite the age diff between he and his 22-year-old wife.

Of course, we don’t need a gang of religious zealots in a backward craphole to tell us that old men marrying young gals always ends badly.
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Can you imagine the awkward conversations? Old guy remembers, with a beatific smile, the nineties, like before the Americans came and screwed up everything, when any Taliban could freely fire his Kalishnikov into any woman who flashed a friendly smile or was stupid enough to walk to school.

Get with the times, Mr Afghan man!

A far as deaths go, it was completely different to the way America dispatches its condemned: 20 years on death row, appeal after appeal before, finally, a fat-saturated last meal and a couple of guards trying to find a arterial highway for their killer cocktail.

After the grainy video footage was posted on every news portal online, the usual pious chorus erupted. Barbaric, brutal, un-Islamic etc.

Blah..Blah…etc

I just can’t believe anyone is shocked anymore about what happens in kooky, tribal, medieval Afghanistan. Men are bad screwed up enough about women and sex in the hip, open west as it is, let alone in the land time forgot.

Yesterday, a Sydney man was found not guilty of murder after knifing a man he found tooling his wife. Like, express disappointment at their behaviour or maybe, in the fire of fury, punch the man in the nose, but to kill someone for adultery? And then for the killer to go unpunished? Hoo! Sounds like Afghanistan!

Does anyone really believe the $17 billion allocated a couple of days ago by the world’s powers toward civilian aid and to the advancement of women’s rights in Afghanistan, will do anything except maybe line the treasure caves of various warlords?

In 2014, when we finally split the joint, it’ll be biz as usual: public executions in stadiums, the poisoning of little girls, honour killings etc.

Get used to it. And enjoy online!
LoveTEFL

Dead … this frame grab shows Najiba dead seconds after being shot by a man in an execution condemned by the Afghan government as un-Islamic and inhuman. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

“Within one hour they decided that she was guilty and sentenced her to death. They shot her in front of villagers in her village, Qol,” she said, adding that the execution took place late last month.

Following the shooting, a villager handed the video over to the provincial government and “the security forces are preparing a big operation to find the culprits”, she said.

The video opens with the woman, wrapped in a grey shawl, sitting at the edge of a ditch in a village surrounded by dozens of men, some perched on rooftops for a better view.

Watching ... this frame grab shows a gathering of people watching the execution by gunfire of a woman married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group.
Watching … this frame grab shows a gathering of people watching the execution by gunfire of a woman married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group. Photo: AFP/Parwan Provincial Government

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As she sits with her back to the crowd a bearded man is seen reading verses from the Koran condemning adultery, before saying: “We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her.”

He approaches to within a couple of metres of the woman, says “Allahu akhbar” (God is greater), aims and fires twice, missing each time. The third shot hits her in the back, she flings her arms wide and collapses.

He then fires another six shots into her body as the crowd cheers wildly, shouting “Long live Islam”, “Long live mujahideen (holy warriors)”. The gunman then fires four more shots into her body.

The government issued a statement on Sunday saying it “strongly condemns this un-Islamic and inhuman action by those professional killers and has ordered the Parwan police to find the culprits and bring them to justice”

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The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission also expressed outrage. Its executive director Mohammad Musa Mahmodi said: “We condemn any killings done without proper trial. It is non-Islamic and against all human rights values.”

Hague shocked and disgusted

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday he was “shocked and disgusted” by reports that the Taliban had executed the woman.

The British government condemned the “deplorable” action and called upon Afghanistan’s rulers to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I am shocked and disgusted by [the] reports,” Mr Hague said. “Such deplorable actions underline the vital need for better protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.”

He explained that the British government was working with its Afghan counterparts, NGOs and international partners to improve the status of women in Afghanistan.
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Clinton makes plea for women

The killing came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a powerful plea on Sunday for the rights of women in Afghanistan, using a global forum to insist that they must be part of the country’s future growth.

Mrs Clinton, who was addressing a world conference in Tokyo on Afghanistan’s future, said: “The United States believes strongly that no nation can achieve peace, stability and economic growth if half the population is not empowered.”

She said the way forward “must include fighting corruption, improving governance, strengthening the rule of law [and providing] access to economic opportunity for all Afghans, especially for women”.

“All citizens need to have the chance to benefit from and contribute to Afghanistan’s progress. The United States will continue to stand strongly by the women of Afghanistan,” she added.

But the execution video could renew concerns that Kabul is not doing enough to protect women, particularly from so-called honour killings, which were common during the Taliban regime that ruled from 1996 to 2001.

The Taliban have since waged an insurgency against the government of President Hamid Karzai, which is supported by about 130,000 NATO troops.

According to figures provided by the US State Department, out of the 8 million students enrolled in schools today, nearly 40 per cent are girls. That contrasts sharply with 2002 when there were only 900,000 children in schools, virtually none of them girls.

The US says there are now 175,000 teachers in Afghanistan, about a third of them women, thanks to $US316 million ($310 million) spent on education initiatives.

US officials said Mrs Clinton had raised the issue of women’s rights with Mr Karzai during her brief visit to Kabul on Saturday, warning that they were a litmus test for the country’s progress.

The Tokyo talks have raised pledges of $US16 billion in civilian aid for the conflict-torn nation over the next four years.

Representatives from more than 80 nations and international organisations gathering in the Japanese capital later adopted the “Tokyo Declaration”, pledging support and cash for Kabul.
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