Shocking footage has emerged of an Afghan woman being stoned to death after she fled a forced marriage.
In the disturbing clip a group of men is seen gathered around a hold dug in a desert area. In it, is a young woman identified by officials only as Rokhsahana, aged between 19 and 21. She can be heard praying with an increasingly anguished tone interrupted only by wails of pain, as several men throw rocks at her, while a crowd of onlookers watch in silence.
The 28 -second video went viral online and was played by Afghan media. It was recorded on a mobile phone in a Taliban-controlled area of the central Ghor province last week, officials told AFP, confirming the woman was killed.
The head of the province, Seema Joyenda, one of Afghanistan's two female governors, told the news agency the execution was the work of "Taliban, local religious leaders and irresponsible armed warlords. Ghor is home to a largely rural and tribal society prone to Taliban influence.
Rokhsahana was reportedly killed because she run away from the husband she married against her will with another man. Her lover was reportedly lashed but his life was spared, underscoring the harsher treatment reserved to women in the region.
"Women in general have problems all over the country, but especially in Ghor... The man with whom she was eloping has not been stoned," Joyenda told AFP.
Similar incidents are not uncommon across the embattled country. In March thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the capital, Kabul, to protest against brutal murder of a 27-year-old woman named Farkhunda.
Farkhunda was attacked with sticks and stones by an angry mob that threw her from a roof and run over her body with outside a mosque over unproven claims she had burnt a copy of the Koran. A video of the killing was circulated on social media triggering global outcry.