KABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan man and woman found guilty of adultery received 100 lashes on Monday in front of a crowd who filmed their punishment, TV footage showed.
Public lashings and executions were common under the Taliban, who enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia law from 1996-2001. The Islamist militant group was ousted from power by a U.S.-led coalition and such punishments are now rare.
The footage, taken in the western province of Ghor, showed a woman wrapped in a head-to-toe burqa and a man each receive the punishment from a man in a turban wielding a leather whip, watched by a group of mostly seated men.
The two remained in a crouching position throughout and did not appear to cry out.
The sentencing was backed by the government in Ghor province, where the trial took place.
“They had relations a long time ago but were arrested early this month,” a spokesman for governor Seema Jowenda said. “Their punishment is based on Sharia law and will teach others a lesson.”
A local judge said the penalty was in line with the constitution and criminal law. A spokesman for the justice ministry was unavailable for comment.
The foreign-backed government does not enforce Sharia law and generally condemns the practices of beating and stoning when they occur, particularly in areas under insurgent control.
Earlier this month, five people were arrested in the north for beating a man and his daughter for robbery. In May, a woman was beaten to death by a mob in the centre of Kabul after being falsely accused of burning a Koran.
That attack was widely condemned by rights groups and some of those involved in the killing have been imprisoned.
Reporting by Mirwais Harooni in Kabul and Jalil Ahmad Rezaee in Herat; Editing by Nick Macfie