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Statements Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Comment by UN Rights Office Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani on corporal punishment in Afghanistan Geneva, 25 November 2022

25 November 2022

The UN Human Rights Office is appalled by mass floggings in public by the de facto authorities of 14 people in Logar province on Wednesday, and calls for this abhorrent form of punishment to cease immediately.

Corporal punishment constitutes a form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which is prohibited under both the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Afghanistan is a State party to both.

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on 15 August 2021, the UN Human Rights Office has documented numerous cases of corporal punishments, carried out in public, in many instances for alleged violations of religious and/or moral codes. In the last 12 days alone, a woman and a man were lashed 39 times each for spending time alone together outside of marriage, a child was lashed 60 times for petty theft and a man was lashed 20 times, also for theft from a shop. On 23 November 2022, three women and 11 men were lashed between 35 and 100 times at a football stadium in Logar province for alleged crimes, including theft, “violating social behaviour rules” or “illegal relationships”.

Corporal punishment is a human rights violation under international law. We are also concerned that arrests, court hearings, sentencing and punishments are often all carried out on the same day. All people have the right to be treated with dignity and equality.

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected] or
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Jeremy Laurence + +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

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