Reuters has obtained video footage that shows a woman being executed “to cheers of jubilation” from roughly 150 men in a village near Kabul.
“It is the order of Allah that she be executed,” one man says, as another remarks, “Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it’s the wrong way” as the executioner approaches.
The woman was reportedly kneeling in the dirt, most of her body wrapped tightly in a shawl, as a man shot her five times in the head at close range with an automatic rifle.
She then fell sideways as onlookers yelled, “Long live the Afghan mujahideen! (Islamist fighters)”, a name the Taliban sometimes use for themselves.
A shot rings out, but the burqa-clad woman sitting on the rocky ground does not respond.
The man pointing a rifle at her from a few feet away lets loose another round, but still there is no reaction.
He fires a third shot, and finally the woman slumps backwards.
When the unnamed woman, most of her body tightly wrapped in a shawl, fell sideways after being shot several times in the head, the spectators chanted: "Long live the Afghan mujahideen! (Islamist fighters)", a name the Taliban use for themselves.
But the man fires another shot.
And another. And another.
Nine shots in all.
Afghan women have won back basic rights in education, voting and work since the Taliban, who deemed them un-Islamic for women, were toppled by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in late 2001.
But fears are rising among Afghan women, some lawmakers and rights activists that such freedoms could be traded away as the Afghan government and the United States pursue talks with the Taliban to secure a peaceful end to the war.
Violence against women has increased sharply in the past year, according to Afghanistan's independent human rights commission. Activists say there is waning interest in women's rights on the part of President Hamid Karzai's government.
Just last March, Afghanisan's president Hamid Karzai endorsed a code which allows husbands to beat wives and encourages segregation.