Afghanistan's decision to consider reintroducing public stoning as a punishment has drawn a sharp rebuke from Human Rights Watch, who says it harks to the time of Taliban rule.

"It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the [Hamid] Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment," said Brad Adams, the Asia director at Human Rights Watch, according to The Guardian.

"President Karzai needs to demonstrate at least a basic commitment to human rights and reject this proposal out of hand."

The punishment appears in a draft revision of Afghanistan’s penal code, which is being managed by the country’s Ministry of Justice.

The draft says those who are unmarried and commit acts of adultery should be subjected to 100 lashes, and if they are married, they should be stoned in public, The Telegraph reports.

"Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]," a portion of the text read, according to The Guardian.

Human Rights Watch has called on international donors to withdraw funding to Afghanistan if the penal code takes effect.

In a statement, the group says stoning violates human rights standards against torture and cruel and inhumane punishment.

Mohammad Ashraf Azimi, who is the head of the Ministry of Justice’s laws department, told The Associated Press that the penal code needs at least two more years of work before it is completed.