Afghan Execution Video Shocks and Draws International Condemnation
Afghan Security forces seeking the killer of the 22-year-old Afghan woman shown executed in a Reuters video as officials express outrage.
The woman, a 22-year-old, named Najiba, was accused of adultry, apparently, she was married to a member of the Taliban, but was accused of adultery with a Taliban commander. Within an hour, the woman was judged and executed. She was shot in front of the people of the village,comprised primarily of about 150 afghan men.
The video began by showing all those gathered for the execution, the camera panned through the area. Seen are over one hundred militants, some armed, some smiling. Another inidividual, apparently a Taliban judge reads out the verdict. The woman crouches close by, near an area of small trees or bushes, facing away from the camera, making no sound or movement.
Toward the end of the video, apparently shot on a cell phone The man approaches to within feet of the woman and pours multiple bullets at her crouching body,some missing her, but many hitting their mark. The slaughter of the woman ilicited cheers from the men viewing the execution.
It is thought that the video was shot last week in the area north of the capital.
Public executions were very common in Afghanistan during the 1990s, but executions now are primarily carried out in the relatively lawless areas outside of the government's control.
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, came out strongly against the murder calling it a "Heinous and unforgivable crime," and has called on the authorities to hunt down and bring the man seen in the video shooting the young woman to justice.
A spokesman for the governor of the Parwan Province, Basir Salangi, said to reporters that a police force has been dispatched to the area, saying "They are searching for the Taliban who are responsible, but the Taliban, including the killer, have fled to the mountains."
General John R Allen, an ISAF Commander with NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said, "Let's be clear, this wasn't justice, this was murder, and an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty.” He continued in his statement, “ISAF stands with the people of Afghanistan. ISAF stands with the women of this noble country. I am encouraged by the increasing number of people standing up to the oppression of the insurgency in various areas across Afghanistan. We are with you!”
Concern has been voiced about the status of women as the International forces withdraw from the country. Before U.S and International troops moved into the country, women there were not allowed out of their homes without a male escort and could not receive an education or have a job outside the home. Executions for moral crimes such as adultery were very common during that time frame of the 90s. Afghan Women's right activists feel that withdrawal will mean a resurgence of incidences of this sort.
The release of the video seemed to coincide with Sectretary of State Hillary Clinton's surprise visit to Kabul , where it was announced that Afghanistan was now a major non-NATO ally. This new status will facilitate defense and security cooperation between the two countries after the 2014 withdrawal of troops. The new designation was part of a Strategic Partnership Agreement that was signed by Presidents Obama and Karzai in May of this year.
In Japan, Donor nations pledged over $14 billion to assist Afghanistan with roads, schools, other civilian projects and strengthening rule of law.