An Afghan married woman has been arrested for allegedly appearing in a viral sex tape with a self-proclaimed mullah.
The married woman, a police officer in the northwestern province of Faryab, was detained after she was identified by colleagues.
The videos have been widely circulated on social media and she could face jail if convicted of the crimes. The moral section of Afghan law prohibits adultery.
Mullah Rasool, a traditional healer, is now on the run after Muslim leaders in the province ordered his death by stoning, with the provincial governor offering his own car as a reward for information leading to Rasool's capture.
Another female police officer has also been arrested for allegedly encouraging the woman to see Rasool for her fertility problems.
She is alleged to have helped Rasool film the sexual encounters and used the videos to blackmail women into have sex with 'multiple men', including a traffic police officer, who has also been detained.The female police officer suggested she may have been drugged after she claimed she was 'not in a normal condition' when she had sex with the mullah. She added she did not know she was being filmed.
Local officials said other females who also appeared in the videos, which have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube, have not been found.
While they have not been identified, there are fears they could be targeted by their own families in so-called 'honour killings'.
Women's affairs department Sharifa Azimi said the women had been 'tricked' and told religious leaders to tell worshippers they are 'innocent victims, not bad women'.
Traditional healers are revered in the countryside, where illiteracy levels remain high and conventional health services scarce.
The videos have been circulated widely in Afghanistan, where sex is still treated as a taboo subject and with women sometimes treated as second-class citizens.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.