January 27, 2023

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Taliban carry out first public execution in Afghanistan since returning to power

Eureka News Now —

The Taliban on Wednesday executed a suspected killer in the first public execution in Afghanistan since the Islamist group returned to power.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the man was shot dead three times by the father of his alleged victim during an execution attended by senior Taliban officials in the southwestern province of Farah. The man was accused of stabbing the victim in 2017 and stealing a cell phone and a bicycle.

The news comes just weeks after the Taliban ordered judges to fully enforce their interpretation of Sharia law, including public executions, amputations and floggings – a move that has raised fears of a further deterioration in human rights in the impoverished country.

It is the first public execution since Kabul fell to the Taliban after US forces withdrew from the country in August 2021. During the previous Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001, public executions were common, as were other violent punishments.

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According to the Taliban, the defendant admitted to the killing and the case had been tried in three different courts. The Supreme Leader of Afghanistan, Amirul Momineen, finally gave his consent to the execution, the statement said.

The victim’s mother told state media agency RTA Pashto that the family had declined multiple pleas for forgiveness for the alleged killer.

“We said if we forgive him and he is released, he would go out and kill someone else’s son. We wanted his penalty to be death so it could be a lesson to others like him,” she said.

Among the senior Taliban officials present at the execution were the Acting Chief Justice, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Acting Minister of the Interior and the Deputy Governor of Farah Province.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a post on Twitter that it “strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and de facto calls on the authorities to impose an immediate moratorium on the abolition of the death penalty.”

Kaheld Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic law at UCLA and one of the world’s leading authorities on Sharia law, told Eureka News Now in November that in Sharia’s 1,400-year tradition, punishments such as public executions have historically been infrequent because the Most Islamic lawyers interpreted the law differently than the Taliban.

After seizing power last August, the Taliban initially tried to present a more moderate image in order to gain international support. Since then, however, it has restricted rights and freedoms.

Women in Afghanistan are no longer able to work in most sectors and require a male guardian for long-distance travel, while girls have been barred from returning to secondary school. Women were also barred from entering parks.

Taliban carry out first public execution in Afghanistan since returning to power

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