President Hamid Karzai condemned on Monday the execution-style shooting by Taliban leaders of a young Afghan woman believed to be having an affair. But critics say his policies have encouraged the Taliban to mistreat women.
The video was first reported by Reuters news agency, after being posted on YouTube. The execution took place in the northern province of Parwan after the woman was accused of being romantically involved with two members of the Taliban. Reports from the region describe other male villagers cheering after the woman was shot at close range.
Karzai called the act a "heinous and unforgivable crime." He ordered authorities to do everything possible to arrest and punish those responsible.
But some Afghans have said Karzai's record on women's rights has been disappointing.
In March he backed the Taliban's Ulema Council's document, a "code of conduct" ruling that allows husbands to beat wives. The ruling also allows segregation of sexes. That ruling was protested by Afghan women's rights activists who said it set back women's rights to the days before the Taliban was overthrown in 2001.
Karzai's condemnation Monday means little to Salma, an Afghan woman from Kabul, who asked that only her first name be use. She was frequently emotionally abused and physically beaten by her much older husband until his death 5 years ago.
"When the Taliban was in power, women had absolutely no rights, we could not even walk on the streets without a man," she told The Washington Examiner. "Anyone who negotiates with the Taliban is working against the rights of women everywhere. His words are empty words."
Sara A. Carter is The Washington Examiner's national security correspondent. She can be reached at email@example.com.