Taliban Hang Convicted Prostitutes

AP, Feb. 23, 2001

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- More than 1,000 people watched as two women convicted of prostitution were hanged Friday in southern Kandahar, the headquarters of Afghanistan's hard-line Islamic Taliban rulers.

The women, also convicted of ``corrupting society,'' were hanged in the sports stadium, their faces hidden behind the all-encompassing burqa that women are required to wear, the Taliban-run Radio Shariat said.

Two other women were publicly lashed for adultery. One also was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the other to two years, according to the radio report, monitored in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Ten men convicted of adultery also were lashed and sentenced to prison terms.

The Taliban, who rule about 95 percent of Afghanistan, have imposed a harsh brand of Islamic law, enforced with public punishment. Murder, adultery and blasphemy can carry the death penalty, and the limbs of thieves are amputated.

Strict rules have been imposed governing the behavior of women, who are required to travel with a male relative and use the burqa to keep themselves hidden from view. Women are not allowed to work, and schools for girls older than 8 years old have been closed.

Many Islamic scholars say the Taliban's version of Islamic law reflects tribal traditions rather than Islamic tenets.

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