Dutch foreign minister warns Afghanistan on stoning

Afghanistan will be risking its relationship with the Netherlands if it introduces stoning as punishment for adultery, foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans told tv news programme Nieuwsuur on Monday evening.

Stoning of adulterers was common under the Taliban government, which was driven out in 2001. However, it has been included in new measures for the legal system being considered by the government of president Hamid Karzai, who is supported by the West.

The Netherlands has been contributing to the reconstruction of Aghanistan in money and soldiers for years.

Timmermans said: ‘If this plan goes ahead, it will not be without consequences for the relationship we have with Afghanistan.’

Human Rights Watch already said it is ‘shocked’ by the move and wants the international community to warn Afghanistan. If president Karzai does not clearly distance himself from the plan, the money tap must be shut off, the organisation says.

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