Taliban stage public execution
AFP, September 25, 1998

KABUL, Sept 25 (AFP) - The hardline Taliban authorities in the Afghan capital Friday had one man executed for murder and lopped the right hand off a thief in front of more than 4,000 people at a sports stadium.

The execution was staged after weekly prayers and coincided with a gathering of more than 2,000 religious leaders in Kabul, and a fresh admission of about a dozen foreigners into Afghanistan.

Atiqullah (eds: one name) sat cross-legged and blindfolded in the middle of the soccer pitch, as his crimes were read out to the crowd.

"Atiqullah killed Ali Ahmad, aged 30, with an axe four months ago. Several times he admitted his crime in the military court," a Kubul mulla (clergyman) announced.

He was then shot three times in the back and head with an AK-47 by Ali Ahmad's brother in traditional payback style, and despite a last minute plea for clemency from the family of the condemned.

"I won't forgive him even if all the mountains turn into diamonds for me," Ali Ahmad's father told Atiqullah's pleading family.

The morbid sense of expectation was preceded by the surgical removal of a thief's right hand, after his conviction for masquerading as a Taliban soldier, stealing four watches and about 50 dollars.

Ali Shah sat in the centre of the pitch as three doctors in blue hoods anaesthetized and then laid his back onto the grass.

A mulla told the crowd how four victims had overwhelmed Shah when they realised he was not a Taliban soldier and delivered him to a police station.

"Later on it was also proven that he had stolen four carpets from a house in Kabul City. Based on his own confessions the military court gave him this punishment."

Shah's right hand was then sliced off.

Two thieves' hands amputated in Kabul

NNI, November 29, 1998

KABUL: A killer was made to pay Qisas and two thieves had their hands amputated in front of thousands of Afghans at the National Sports Stadium of Kabul, reports Bakhtar news agency on Saturday.

The report said Mulla Samadar, who had killed Reedy Gul, was made to pay Qisas by a military court. The Taliban's supreme leader, Mulla Muhammad Omar, implemented the order in front of thousands of Afghans at the stadium after the endorsement. The father of the victim was asked if he wanted to forgive the killer but he declined and insisted on Qisas.

Similarly two thieves, Shah Agha and Yar Mohammad, who had stolen 76,000 Afghanis (less than US$2), had their right hands amputated, the report said.

h t t p : / / w w w . r a w a . o r g