Members of the Afghan Taliban, an extremist group controlling several areas in rural Afghanistan, have publicly flogged a woman for visiting a doctor’s office with her brother-in-law.
The incident took place in the Kohistanat district of Sar-e Pol Province, north of Kabul, according to the International Business Times. A video of the flogging surfaced online and was broadcast by Afghanistan's Tolo News on Feb. 11.
The Taliban imposes strict Sharia law on the areas it controls, and forbids women from going outside unless they are accompanied by a male family member. The man who accompanied the woman to the doctor’s office was believed to be a stranger at first, which led to the flogging. The man was also whipped, although details have not been confirmed.
The Afghan government has been fighting a Taliban insurgency since the 1990s, and the extremist group had full control of the country from 1996 to 2001, according to the National Counterterrorism Center. After a U.S. invasion helped defeat the Taliban leadership and restore power to the Afghan government, the Taliban retreated to the rural areas of the country.
Since then, the group has strictly enforced its interpretation of Islam, including placing severe restrictions on the rights of women, said provincial governor Mohammad Zahir Wahdat.
"Kohistanat is one of the districts which is controlled by the Taliban,” Wahdat said, reported International Business Times. “We were also informed about the incident and this will not be the first nor the last of such crimes.”
The Afghan government held negotiations with the Taliban for the first time in July 2015, but tensions remain high, reported BBC News. The Taliban seized control of the city of Kunduz in September 2015 in their first strategically significant military victory since their defeat in 2001. According to the National Counterterrorism Center, the group also carries out regular terrorist attacks in the Afghan capital of Kabul, such as a suicide bombing that took place in January 2014 and killed 21 people, including three Americans.