Reject Cruel Punishments in Afghanistan

Target: Habibullah Ghaleb, Minister of Justice

Goal: Implore Afghan authorities to reject proposed additions to the Afghan Penal Code

Punishments like stoning and amputation are usually viewed as relics of the past. But proposed additions to the Penal Code in Afghanistan have brought cruel corporal punishments like these back to the forefront of modern politics. Sign the petition and speak out against these violent additions to the law.

Human rights organizations monitoring the situation in Afghanistan recently caught wind of the proposed amendments to the Penal Code, which include stoning for married people caught engaging in adultery and amputation for those convicted of theft or robbery. The subsequent international uproar was downplayed by the Ministry of Justice, which called the additions a “non-official proposal” and accused human rights organizations of promoting “propaganda against [the] government,” Amnesty International reports. Non-official or not, the proposal is preposterous, violent, and needlessly cruel, and it echoes Taliban policies in many ways.

Afghanistan has seen too much violence and upheaval already. There is no need to even entertain the idea of a legally-mandated continuation of this violence. Sign the petition and urge the Minister of Justice to reject the proposed amendments and reaffirm Afghanistan’s commitment to shunning violence and upholding human rights.


Dear Minister,

I am writing to express my deep concern over the proposed amendments to the Penal Code. The additions, which include stoning as a punishment for adultery and amputation in retribution for stealing, are needlessly violent and cruel, violate international standards of human rights, and echo Taliban-era policies. I urge you to unequivocally reject these proposed additions and publicly reaffirm Afghanistan’s commitment to pursuing justice without the use of violence.

Corporal punishments like stoning and amputation are cruel and unusual; they violate human rights standards and cast a shadow over Afghanistan’s already checkered past. Furthermore, the criminalization of sexual acts between consenting adults is both archaic and a waste of the state’s resources. Surely there must be more pressing legal issues affecting the everyday lives of Afghan citizens–murder, rape, and violent crimes all spring to mind.

The past several years have undoubtedly been a struggle for Afghanis for a myriad of reasons, and it is understandable that the law might be shaky on some issues. However, the law should never compromise basic human rights. I therefore implore you to definitively reject these proposed additions to the Penal Code and instead promote an Afghanistan that is committed to non-violent solutions wherever possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: blacque_jacques via Flickr

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