Those punished received between 21 and 39 lashes each after being convicted of theft and adultery by a local court, said an official in the governor’s office who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to share details with the media parts.
The official said hundreds of people attended the lashings and a ban on taking photos and videos had been imposed.
Such public whipping, as well as public executions and stoning for alleged crimes, were common during the initial period of Taliban rule, from 1996 to 2001, when the militants were driven out in a US-led invasion.
After a 20-year insurgency, the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, coinciding with the withdrawal of US and other foreign troops from the country.
In the immediate aftermath of their second takeover of the country, the Taliban pledged to be more moderate and allow the rights of women and minorities. Instead, they have limited rights and freedoms, including a ban on girls’ education beyond sixth grade.
The first confirmed public lashes since the Taliban’s takeover last year took place on November 11, when 19 men and women each received 39 lashes for alleged theft, adultery and running away from home.
The resumption of the practice underlined the Taliban’s intention to adhere to their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia.
The former insurgents are struggling to transition from warfare to rule amid an economic downturn and withholding official recognition from the international community.