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Video clips

Afghanistan - judicial flogging

With comments by C. Farrell

Woman being flogged in streetThis 10-second video clip shows an on-the-spot flogging of a woman in a Kabul street in 2001.

The source is an Afghan anti-fundamentalist movement, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

The caption at the beginning says it took place on 26 September 2001, but a RAWA webpage containing still pictures of this floggingEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window says it was filmed with a hidden camera on 26 August 2001. The scene is described thus: "It shows two Taliban from department of Amro bil mahroof (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Taliban religious police) beating a woman in public because she has dared to remove her burqa in public."

This sort of thing would not count as judicial CP in a country under the rule of law in a western sense, because it clearly was not, in this case, the outcome of any formal proceedings. Rather, the religious police at the time evidently had the de facto power to make instant punishment decisions for themselves.

Arguably, we can describe it as a punishment flogging, and not merely an outbreak of arbitrary police violence, because there was a systematic pattern of deliberate beatings of this kind. And it can be regarded as "official" because the Taliban was in control of Kabul at the time.

To download the clip, go to this page on RAWA's own websiteEXTERNAL LINK: opens in new window and scroll down to "Taliban beating a woman in public". Click on "MPG". As of this writing, it is the 5th item down the page.

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