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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Taliban hold another public execution as thousands watch at stadium in northern Afghanistan

The execution took place in heavy showfall in the city of Shibirghan, the capital of northern Jawzjan province, where the brother of the murdered man shot the convict five times with a rifle, according to an eyewitness

AP Islamabad Published 26.02.24, 03:45 PM
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Representational image File picture

The Taliban held a public execution on Monday of a man convicted of murder in northern Afghanistan as thousands watched at a sports stadium, the third such death sentence to be carried out in the past five days.

The execution took place in heavy showfall in the city of Shibirghan, the capital of northern Jawzjan province, where the brother of the murdered man shot the convict five times with a rifle, according to an eyewitness.

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Security around the stadium was tight, said the witness, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

It was also the fifth public execution since the Taliban seized power of Afghanistan in August 2021 as the US and NATO troops were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from the country after two decades of war.

The development was ominous as the Taliban, despite initial promises of a more moderate rule, began carrying out severe punishments in public — executions, floggings and stonings — shortly after coming to power. The punishments are similar to those under their previous rule of Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

Taliban government officials were not immediately available for comment.

The statement said Monday's death sentence was carried out following approval by three of the country's highest courts and the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada. The executed man, identified as Nazar Mohammad from the district of Bilcheragh in Faryab province, had killed Khal Mohammad, also from Faryab. The killing took place in Jawzjan.

On Thursday in the southeastern Ghazni province, the Taliban executed two men convicted of stabbing their victims to death. Relatives of the victims fired guns at the two men, also at a sports stadium as thousands of people watched.

Separate statements from the Taliban's supreme court said a man and a woman convicted of adultery were flogged with 35 lashes each in northern Balkh province over the weekend. Two other people were lashed in eastern Laghman province, also over the weekend; they were given each 30 lashes for allegedly committing immoral acts.

The United Nations has strongly criticised the Taliban for carrying out public executions, lashings and stoning since seizing power, and called on the country's rulers to halt such practices.

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