January 28, 2011

Justice promised for couple stoned to death

by Jan Harris

Afghan police have promised that the people responsible for stoning a young woman and her lover to death will be held accountable for their actions.

The brutal stoning, which took place in the district of Dashte Archi in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province last August, was videoed by an onlooker on a mobile phone and posted on YouTube, where it has been watched by 6,000 people.

After viewing the footage, regional police recognised those responsible for the inhuman acts of violence and say they will be brought to justice.

Disturbingly, the murders took place in broad daylight and were watched by hundreds of people but no one was charged, demonstrating the power of the Taliban in the region.

There are no reports of anyone in the crowd trying to stop the atrocities and it is impossible to say whether this was out of religious zeal or maybe out of fear of retribution.

The woman, Siddiqa, and Khayyam, the man she loved, were killed because they were both committed to other people when they eloped together to Pakistan.

They returned to Afghanistan after they were promised that no harm would come to them.

According to reports, after the stoning Siddiqa was shot by a spectator with an AK-47.

The crowd then went completely silent for a short period before turning to each other to start talking.

It is hard to imagine what they said to each other at that moment, or how they returned to the ordinary tasks of the day and when they put their children to bed that night, we can only wonder if they prayed that their loved ones’ hearts would never lead them in a dangerous direction, or that their very human mistakes would be dealt with mercifully.

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