by JAMILA RIZVI
The video shows 22 year old Najiba, clothed in a grey shawl and sitting on the edge of a ditch. There are scatterings of men surrounding her and dozens further afield, watching the execution from a distance. Some are sitting on the rooftops of their homes, gazing intently at the spectacle.
You can hear verses of the Koran being read aloud and Najiba is condemned as an adulterer. A voice says: “we cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her. Juma Khan, her husband has the right to kill her.”
A man approaches Najiba with an AK47 and he fires. He misses. He misses once more.
The third shot hits her body and is followed by several more, each of which hits its target.
There are then wild cheers from the onlooking crowd as Najiba crumples into the ground.
Truly horrific video footage has emerged of a 22-year-old Afghan woman who was killed in the centre of her own village, while her friends, family and community looked on.
Last week, Najiba was given an hour long ‘trial’, by the militant Taliban group of which her husband is a member. She was accused and ‘convicted’ of adultery by a group who still consider themselves to be the true rulers of Afghanistan.
The footage is incredibly confronting and distressing and we have chosen not to embed the video on Mamamia but you can watch it here.
Since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan by the United States and allied forces, the rate of public executions by the Taliban has decreased. But it has not stopped.
I know this isn’t the kind of news you want to hear on a Monday. I have felt sick every minute since I watched that chilling footage. But this is news we have to hear. Because as we all complain about our electricity bills and buses that never seem to run on time or cold morning coffee – we forget that there are women in this world whose suffering we cannot comprehend.
I live in a beautiful and safe country – a country, which values women and treats them as equals.
My father was thrilled and supportive when I wanted to go to university. I don’t need permission from my male housemates to drive to work in the morning. I have access to contraception. My life is not at risk because I write about my own opinions for a living. And I will decide for myself who I marry.
My path in life is not controlled by the men around me. It will be one of my own choosing.
Most days I forget to reflect on how lucky I am.
This isn’t one of them.