The Taliban in Afghanistan publicly flogged three women and nine men in front of hundreds of spectators at a provincial sports stadium, signaling the religious extremist group's renewal of a cruel form of punishment that was a hallmark of their rule in the 1990s, AP reports.
The office of the governor of Logar province south of the capital, Kabul, invited honorary scholars, mujahideen, elders, tribal leaders and local residents to the stadium in the town of Pul Alam in Logar. Invitations to the 9 a.m. event were circulated via social media.
Those punished received 21 to 39 lashes each after being convicted by a local court of theft and adultery.
Hundreds of people attended the public flogging and that there was a ban on photography and videotaping.
Such public floggings, as well as public executions and stoning for alleged crimes, were common during the first period of Taliban rule, from 1996 to 2001.
After a 20-year insurgency, the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, coinciding with the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign troops from the country.
The first confirmed public flogging since the Taliban seized power last year occurred Nov. 11, when 19 men and women each received 39 lashes for alleged theft, adultery and running away from home.
The resumption of the practice underscored the Taliban's intention to adhere to a strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah.