Last edited: December 05, 2004

Three Survive Being Buried Alive for Sodomy

Reuters, February 25, 1998

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Three Afghan men convicted of sodomy survived an attempted execution in which they were buried alive for 30 minutes, a news agency reported Wednesday.

The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) said the head of the Taliban Islamic militia was among thousands of people who witnessed the punishment outside the southern town of Kandahar.

Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar ordered the three to be left for half an hour under the rubble of a stone wall which was felled on top of them by a battle tank. Their lives would be spared if they survived.

Pakistan-based AIP said the men were found alive when the pile of stones was removed, and were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries.

Fazalur Rehman, Ahmad Shah and Abdul Qahir had all been convicted by an Islamic court of committing sodomy with young boys.

Orthodox Afghan Islamic scholars believe a sodomite must be executed either by being pushed from a hill or by having a wall felled on top of him, Afghan sources in Pakistan said.

The execution ceremony at Kotal Morcha, just north of Kandahar, may have been the first of its kind since the Taliban, which rules two-thirds of war-shattered Afghanistan, took power in 1996.

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