Public execution in Afghanistan: The Taliban regime on Wednesday executed an Afghan who was found guilty of killing another man. This was the first public execution carried out by the former insurgents who hastily took over Afghanistan in 2021.
The executed man, identified as Tajmir from Herat province, was convicted of killing another man five years ago and stealing his motorcycle and mobile phone.
According to reports, the development also underlined the new Afghan regime’s intention to maintain the strict regulations put in place since they assumed power in August 2021 and to uphold Sharia, or their interpretation of Islamic law.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the top Taliban spokesman, said the victim’s father carried out the execution in front of numerous high-ranking Taliban officials and hundreds of eyewitnesses in the western Farah region.
The decision to carry out the execution was taken ‘very carefully’: Taliban
According to Mujahid, the decision to carry out the execution was taken “very carefully” following approval by three of the country’s highest courts and the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.
Taliban security forces had arrested Tajmir after the victim’s family accused him of the crime, said a statement from Mujahid, the spokesman.
The statement did not say when the arrest took place but said Tajmir had purportedly confessed to the killing. Mujahid added that Tajmir was shot three times by the victim’s father Wednesday with an assault rifle.
During the previous Taliban rule of the country in the late 1990s, the group carried out public executions, floggings and stoning of those convicted of crimes in Taliban courts.
After they overran Afghanistan in 2021, in the final weeks of the US and NATO forces’ pullout from the country after 20 years of war, the Taliban had initially promised to allow for women’s and minority rights.
Instead, they have restricted rights and freedoms, including imposing a ban on girl’s education beyond the sixth grade.
They have also carried out public lashings across different provinces, punishing several men and women accused of theft, adultery or running away from home.
The former insurgents have struggled in their transition from warfare to governing amid an economic downturn and the international community’s withholding of official recognition.
US, UN condemn public execution
Meanwhile, the public execution by the Taliban has been condemned by the United States. “We’re closely watching the Taliban’s treatment of the people of Afghanistan,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
“As we’ve said both publicly and also in our private engagements with the Taliban, their relationship with us, with the international community, depends entirely on their own actions. It depends largely on their actions when it comes to human rights, when it comes to the rights of all Afghans when it comes to the rights of women, girls, minorities and other marginalized communities in Afghanistan,” he added.
In addition, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed concern about the public execution, reiterating the UN position that “the death penalty cannot be reconciled with full respect for the right to life,” UN associate spokesperson Stephanie Tremblay remarked.
(With inputs from AP)