(New York) -- Cristina Finch, policy and advocacy director for women's rights at Amnesty International USA, issued the following comments in response to the public execution of an Afghan woman, named in media reports as 22-yr-old Najiba, on "charges" of adultery:
"This horrifying killing of a young woman shows the depth of abuses of women's rights in Afghanistan. The road to change this situation for women is a long one.”
"While we are pleased the Afghan government called for an investigation into this killing at the hands of what appears to be Taleban insurgents, world leaders who just pledged billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan at the Tokyo donors conference must ensure that women's rights are not forgotten as the transition moves forward.
Arbitrary deprivation of life is always unlawful and no circumstances may be invoked to justify such killings. Under international law, the Taleban as a party to the conflict in Afghanistan are prohibited from “murder of all kinds” and “the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court.
The perpetrators of this despicable act must be brought to justice. The Afghan government must make the necessary resources available to investigate this and similar cases in order to help ensure that human rights are guaranteed for women and girls throughout the country. This killing shows the world that the government has far to go in order to achieve a safe and prosperous Afghanistan for all of its citizens, including women."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.