Taliban Video Shows Teen Girl Beaten for 'Adultery'

The Pakistani girl's alleged crime was hosting a man in her home.

ByABC News
March 1, 2009, 12:47 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan<br>April 3, 2009 -- Clad in a dark blue burka, she is held down by two different men, her face rubbed in the dirt. A third man in a black turban whips her lower back more than 30 times in a minute and a half, her teenage voice screaming out in terror and pain.

"Stop. It's killing me." "For God's sake, stop," she sobs. "I swear on my father and grandmother I won't do it again."

Across this country today Pakistanis listened to her screams and watched her writhing on national television. The young woman, 16- or 17-years-old, is a resident of northern Swat, the Pakistani valley where the local government is negotiating with the Taliban.

Her crime, according to the Taliban and local residents, was hosting a man in her house and supposedly having a physical relationship with him.

No evidence of such a relationship was ever given, but the rumor of such a relationship, according to the local Taliban spokesman, was actually enough to be stoned to death. The punishment in this case, he told a local TV channel, was "lenient."

For the last seven weeks the provincial government that oversees Pakistan's volatile Northwest Frontier Province has been using a former militant to negotiate with a Taliban that, over the last year and a half, has blown up more than 200 schools and killed more than 100 police and soldiers in Swat. The deal the government hopes to implement would restrict the military to their barracks, allow the Taliban to implement sharia, or Islamic law, and remove armed Taliban in the streets.

But critics have seized on the video as evidence that men who whip teenage girls in front of cell phone cameras are not to be negotiated with. And, they say, the provincial government has virtually handed over a third of Pakistan's northwest to its enemies, choosing to do so from a position of weakness after the Taliban terrorized the most peaceful and liberal part of northwest Pakistan.

The incident in the video took place months ago, according to local journalists, long before the peace negotiations began. But Swat's residents say nothing has changed for the better since the peace deal, and even if this video wasn't filmed in the last 7 weeks, the Taliban continue to administer their cruel forms of justice in the streets and continue to keep themselves heavily armed.