KABUL: Taliban militants lashed two men in public on Saturday, witnesses and officials said, just weeks after a video surfaced of a woman being executed for adultery before a crowd of cheering men.
The men received 40 lashes each with a leather whip in front of more than a hundred people in Shash Qala village of Charkh district in Logar province, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) south of the capital Kabul.
They were arrested by Taliban insurgents while trying to kidnap the son of a rich man three days earlier, Bashir, a villager, told AFP.
“This morning, the Taliban called people on loudspeakers to gather and watch two men being lashed by them for trying to kidnap a 10-year old boy,” Bashir said.
“They were lashed 40 times each by two armed Taliban whose faces were covered.”
Charkh district chief Farooq Humayun said the local administration was aware of the incident and an investigation was under way.
A local Taliban commander in the area, who did not want to be named, told AFP that they had carried out the punishment to establish Sharia law in the country.
Public punishments and executions were common when the Taliban regime was in power from 1996 until 2001, when they were ousted by a US-led invasion and launched an insurgency against the Western-backed government.
Earlier this month, a horrific video showing the public execution of a 22-year-old woman who was shot in the back in Parwan province just north of Kabul, allegedly by the Taliban, drew worldwide condemnation.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week admitted his administration was unable to deliver justice to the people, despite decade-long international efforts to rebuild the war-torn nation.
“The reason that the people of Afghanistan in the villages and across the countryside, (even) in the cities, still seek justice through the traditional method is because the government neither has the ability to provide that justice nor can it be addressed on time,” he said.
Because of corruption in the courts many Afghans prefer traditional justice systems, often local community councils, to settle their disputes.
In parts of the country where Taliban insurgents are most active, the villagers turn to the Taliban's harsh interpretation of Sharia law.
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