KANDHAR: Afghan locals, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Nato's top commander in Afghanistan, US General John Allen condemned the release of a video that showed alleged members of the Taliban executing a woman accused of adultery.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Sunday said he was “shocked and disgusted” by reports that the Taliban publicly executed an Afghan woman accused of adultery.
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,” said Hague in a statement.
“Such deplorable actions underline the vital need for better protection of the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.”
The foreign minister explained that the British government was working with its Afghan counterparts, NGOs and international partners to improve the status of women in Afghanistan.
The US embassy in Kabul, condemning the public execution in the “strongest possible terms”, said the hard-won gains of Afghan women made in the last 10 years must be protected.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier made a powerful plea for the rights of women in the war-ravaged nation after a horrific video emerged showing the public execution of the 22-year-old woman.
In the video, a woman named as Najiba is shot repeatedly in the back in front of a crowd of men in Qol village in Parwan province just north of the capital Kabul.
The woman was married to a member of a hardline Taliban militant group and was accused of adultery with a Taliban commander, Parwan provincial spokeswoman Roshna Khalid told AFP Sunday.
“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.
The Taliban denied involvement in the killing in Parwan province.
“We have no operational update about this,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
Authorities in Kabul directly blamed the Islamist group.
“This was a brutal act against the Afghan people by the Taliban,” Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said. “They will be punished as they were punished 10 years ago and we will continue our struggle to eliminate them,” he added.
Parwan's governor Basir Salangi said the Taliban carried out the killing in his province eight days ago.
Nato's top commander in Afghanistan, US General John Allen, called the killing “an atrocity of unspeakable cruelty”.
The condemnation came on the day of a major donors' summit in Tokyo, where $16 billion in development aid was pledged for Afghanistan over the next four years as they try to prevent it from sliding back into chaos once most foreign troops have left by the end of 2014.