Afghanistan Global

Public Executions and Floggings Resume and on the Rise Under Taliban Regime

The Taliban has now carried out its second public execution since their takeover of the government nearly two years ago. In December, the Taliban executed a man from the Herat province named Tajmir, convicted of murdering a man named Mustafa – without any due process. 

The second execution occurred this week, according to the Taliban packed Supreme Court. A man from Kabul, Ajmal, was executed after being convicted of killing five people in two separate incidents and sentenced to death. According to the Taliban, both cases were reviewed carefully by three top courts in the country before they approved the death sentence. The Taliban supreme leader since 2016, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, also approved the executions. 

These incidents confirm the Taliban’s goal of implementing hard-line policies in keeping with their interpretations of Sharia law, despite international human rights laws and widespread condemnation. Much of the Taliban policies are neither cultural or religious but only their implementation and ideas of a society. 

Father Asked to Execute His Son

The first execution occurred in the western province of Farah, carried out by the victim’s father, who used his own assault rifle. Tajmir was executed after being convicted five years ago for allegedly killing Mustafa and stealing his motorcycle and phone. He was arrested after the victim’s family accused him. The execution was attended by hundreds of spectators, including Taliban officials who traveled from Kabul, according to Zabihullah Mujahid, the top Taliban government spokesman. The second execution was carried out in the eastern province of Laghman using an assault rifle, this time used by the son of Said Wali, one of the people killed by Ajmal. 

Public Executions and Flogging is Common Practice Under the Taliban 

During the previous Taliban regime of the 1990s, public executions were regularly carried out, including violent practices of floggings and stoning for those convicted in Taliban courts. The Taliban promised, after their takeover in 2021, to ensure rights for women, girls, and minorities. But since then, they have restricted freedoms and continued public lashings in order to punish men and women accused of crimes such as theft, adultery, or relationships outside marriage. Young men and women have also been flogged by simply speaking with each other. 

The U.N. condemned the Taliban for public executions, stoning and floggings in a report issued recently, and called for the end of such practices. The United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), which monitors human rights conditions in Afghanistan, said that in the past month, 274 men, 58 women, and two boys were publicly flogged in Afghanistan. Amnesty International‘s findings on global executions in 2022 show that Afghanistan is one of five countries to resume executions.


NPR 12/07/2023; AP 06/20/2023; Amnesty International 05/16/2023

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