Taliban perform first public execution since taking over Afghanistan

KABUL: The first public execution since the former insurgents took control of Afghanistan last year took place on Wednesday when Taliban officials hanged an Afghan who was found guilty of killing another man, according to a spokesman.

The declaration outlined the new Afghan government's intention to maintain strict policies and uphold their interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law, when it comes to power in August 2021.

According to top Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the victim's father hanged himself in front of several high-ranking Taliban officials and hundreds of witnesses in western Farah province. Some government representatives arrived from Kabul.

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According to Mujahid, the decision to sentence was "made very carefully" after receiving the blessings of the country's three highest courts and the Taliban's supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

The man who was put to death was identified as Tajmir from Herat province. He was convicted five years ago of killing another man and robbing him of his motorcycle and cell phone. The victim has been named as Mustafa, a resident of Farah province. Afghan men often go by only one name.

Tajmir was detained by Taliban security forces after the victim's family implicated him in the crime, according to a statement by spokesman Mujahid.

Tajmir allegedly confessed to the murder, according to the statement, which did not specify when the arrest took place. Mujahid said that on Wednesday the victim's father used a rifle to shoot Tajmir three times.

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Those found guilty of crimes in Taliban courts were subjected to public execution, flogging and stoning during the nation's previous Taliban rule in the late 1990s.

The Taliban initially promised to allow for women and minority rights before taking over Afghanistan in 2021, in the final weeks of the withdrawal of US and NATO forces after 20 years of war.

Instead, they have limited people's freedoms and rights, including preventing girls from attending school after the sixth grade. Additionally, he conducted public floggings in various provinces to punish men and women who were accused of stealing, having affairs, or shirking their responsibilities.

An economic downturn and a lack of official recognition from the international community have made it difficult for the former rebels to make the transition from fighting to governing.

According to UN associate spokeswoman Stephanie Tremblay, UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed concern over public executions and reiterated the UN's position that "the death penalty cannot be reconciled with full respect for the right to life."

Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, said the US condemned the public executions in remarks late Wednesday.

He said that we are keeping a close watch on how the Taliban is treating the Afghan people. Their relationship with us and the international community depends entirely on their own actions, as we have said publicly and during private talks with the Taliban.

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This largely depends on their actions with respect to human rights, the overall rights of Afghans, and the rights of women, girls, minorities, and other underrepresented groups in Afghanistan.

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