By RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi
December 7, 2022
Afghanistan’s Taliban administration has carried out the death penalty of a man convicted of murder in the country’s first public execution since the militants retook power in August last year.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the ruling Taliban, said on December 7 that a group of senior officials attended the execution of a man from the Injil district of Herat Province. He allegedly confessed to killing a man with a knife and taking his motorcycle and phone during a robbery five years ago.
Reuters reported that acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Ghani Baradar, along with the country’s chief justice, acting foreign minister, and acting education minister, attended the execution in the western part of Afghanistan.
The Taliban took control of the country last August as international forces withdrew from Afghanistan following two decades of fighting.
The militants have formed an all-male cabinet made up entirely of members of the group and almost exclusively of ethnic Pashtuns.
They have further restricted women’s rights to work and study, triggering widespread international condemnation.
Most of the world’s countries do not recognize the Taliban-led government amid concerns that the militants are not living up to their promises of respecting human rights. However, on March 17, the United Nations Security Council voted to establish official ties with Afghanistan.
Capital punishment was widely practiced by the previous Taliban regime, which ruled much of the country from 1996-2001, when executions and punishments such as stoning were routinely conducted in front of large crowds.
Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, recently told Radio Azadi that if the Taliban resumes “barbaric and oppressive actions” such as public executions, it “will deserve international condemnation.”
With reporting by Reuters
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