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Afghanistan Hangs Five for 'Extramarital Sex' After Gang Rape

/ Source: Reuters

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KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan hanged five men on Wednesday over a gang rape that had shocked the country, officials said. Human rights groups had called for new President Ashraf Ghani to stay the executions to address concerns about the handling of the case. The incident sparked concern in Afghanistan's conservative society over public security at a time when foreign troops are leaving the country.

The men were convicted of robbery and extramarital sex, but not rape — which is widely seen as a taboo subject. The victims were returning home from a wedding along with their families outside Kabul in August. Officials said a large group of men, some dressed in police uniforms, and carrying assault rifles, stopped a convoy of cars. They dragged four women out of the cars in the middle of the night and raped them in a field near the main road. The assault provoked such an outpouring of rage that former President Hamid Karzai told a delegation of women the perpetrators would face the death penalty. Karzai confirmed the death sentences just before leaving office late last month.

Image: Nooses hang at the site of execution in Pul-e-Charkhi prison, on the outskirts of Kabul
Nooses hang at an execution site in Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul on Wednesday.WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP - Getty Images

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