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The Independent, February 23, 2024

Taliban execute two men by gunfire in packed Afghanistan stadium

Thousands of people watch execution in broad daylight after Taliban-led Supreme Court convicts the two men for murder


The Taliban on Thursday executed two men convicted of stabbing by gunfire in Afghanistan’s southeastern Ghazni province.

Thousands of people watched the public execution in broad daylight after the Taliban-led Supreme Court convicted the two men for a murder by stabbing.

The court identified the two men as Syed Jamal from central Wardak province and Gul Khan from Ghazni but did not clarify who carried out the stabbings.

The executions began shortly before 1pm at a stadium in the Ali Lala area of Ghazni and at least 15 bullets were fired as thousands gathered to watch, according to the local officials.

Relatives of the victims were asked to carry out the execution using guns, said Abu Abu Khalid Sarhadi, a spokesman for Ghazni police, but he did not specify what type of guns were used.

Supreme Court spokesperson Abdul Rahim Rashid said these men were shot from behind after court official Atiqullah Darwish read aloud a death warrant signed by Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada. Ambulances later took their bodies away.

Local religious scholars had also pleaded with relatives of the victims to forgive the convicts and not proceed with the execution, but they refused.

According to a statement by the department of culture and information of Ghazni province, the execution was ordered by three lower courts and supreme leader Akhundzada, in retribution for the purported crimes.

The latest public executions, third and fourth on record since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, come almost 10 months after the de facto rulers had ordered the execution of a man it found guilty of five murders in 2022.

Human rights groups and international leaders have condemned the Taliban’s orders of public execution.

“We oppose all executions as a violation of the right to life. The Taliban has been repeatedly carrying them out publicly which is a gross affront to human dignity as well as a violation of international laws and standards and cannot be tolerated,” said Livia Saccardi, Amnesty International’s interim deputy regional director for south Asia.

“Taliban’s de-facto authorities must immediately halt all executions and abolish the death penalty and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishments,” she said.

“Carrying out executions in public adds to the inherent cruelty of the death penalty and can only have a dehumanising effect on the victim and a brutalising effect on those who witness the executions,” the Amnesty International official said. She added that the protection of the right to a fair trial under the Taliban’s de facto authority “remains seriously concerning”.

Mariam Solaimankhil, former member of parliament from the Ashraf Ghani administration, also said public executions have started in Ghazni. “Without due process or legal proceedings, decisions on life and death are being made by individual Taliban members. How can the world expect Afghans to report corruption and abuses by the Taliban under such circumstances? Would you?” she asked on X, formerly Twitter.

Category: Taliban/ISIS/Terrorism, Afghan Government Crimes, Taliban Restrictions - Views: 1479


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