Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Pakistan, September 27, 2010

Video shows militants stoning woman in Pakistan

Original source

The Toronto Sun

ISLAMABAD - Turbaned men in Pakistan gather around a woman with a black hood over her head, pick up large rocks and repeatedly throw them at her until she lies motionless, stretched along the ground.

The stoning in the northwest of the country was apparently carried out by Pakistani Taliban militants, incensed because she was seen out with a man. It was shown in a video obtained by a Dubai television station.

The footage is a stark reminder that despite a series of military offensives the military said had weakened insurgents, militants still control areas of northwest Pakistan and impose their harsh version of Islam at will.

Al Aan television, which focuses on women's issues in the Arab world, said it obtained the tape from its "sources""and that it took place in Orakzai agency in the northwest. It said it had other footage of a man who was executed by shooting, possibly the one the woman was seen with.

It was not possible to verify its authenticity or when it was filmed.

Such videos aren't unique. Last year Pakistanis were outraged after footage widely aired on television showed militants in the northwest Swat Valley publicly flogging a teenage girl accused of having an affair.

The government had virtually ceded control of Swat to militants under a deal to end fighting there and some Pakistanis, disillusioned with a police and judiciary critics say are corrupt and ineffective, initially welcomed the Taliban in the former tourist resort.

That video greatly undermined any public support the Taliban had in Pakistan, and this one, with its stark brutality, could further sour public opinion against the al Qaeda-linked Taliban fighters waging a campaign of suicide bombings which have killed civilians, police, security forces and soldiers.

Militants have also blown up hundreds of girls' schools.

Stonings occur elsewhere, too. This month Iranian authorities suspended the planned stoning execution of a woman convicted of adultery - the only crime which carries the death penalty by stoning under Islamic Sharia law - after the case drew weeks of condemnation from around the world.

A stoning in Afghanistan also drew attention to the practice, a slow form of execution.

In August in Afghanistan, a couple was executed for adultery, drawing condemnation from Amnesty International. It was the first known Taliban executions by stoning carried out in Afghanistan since 2001