Afghan official: Adulterers may be stoned under new law

“We are working on the draft of a sharia penal code where the punishment for adultery, if there are four eyewitnesses, is stoning,” said Rohullah Qarizada, who is part of the sharia Islamic law committee working on the draft and head of the Afghan Independent Bar Association.

Billions have been invested on promoting human rights in Afghanistan over more than 12 years of war and donors fear that hard won progress, particularly for women, may be eroding.

During the Taliban’s 1996-2001 time in power, convicted adulterers were routinely shot or stoned in executions held mostly on Fridays. Women were not permitted to go out on their own, girls were barred from schools and men were obliged to grow long beards.

Providing fresh evidence popular support for the brutal punishment has endured, two lovers narrowly escaped being stoned in Baghlan province north of Kabul, but were publicly shot over the weekend instead, officials said.