Last edited: December 05, 2004

Afghanistan Kills 2 for Sodomy

NewsPlanet, Tuesday, March 24, 1998

Two men were executed for sodomy in the western Afghanistan province of Herat, the Taleban-controlled Voice of Sharia announced March 23. Bismellah, age 22, and Abdul Sami, 18, had a wall bulldozed onto them in a traditional Islamic method of executions used only for sodomy convictions. The two men, said to have confessed freely, died, unlike three other men who survived the same treatment last month, winning them reprieve from any further punishment. Until very recently, gay men were more likely to be punished by the shame of standing in blackface in a public area for hours.

Human rights abuses in Afghanistan are drawing increasing international attention. Even United Nations aid workers have been facing so much hostility -- including several physical assaults against UN staff by a Taleban leader -- that they have been recalled to Islamabad. Depending on the progress of negotiations there, the workers may be withdrawn altogether.

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