Afghanistan’s Taliban has publicly executed a man convicted of the murders of five people, the Supreme Court says of the second confirmed official execution since the group returned to power in 2021.
The execution took place on Tuesday in the eastern province of Laghman, the Taliban-run Supreme Court said in a statement without saying how he was executed.
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The court said the punishment took place in the presence of regional Taliban officials and the execution had been approved by the supreme spiritual leader after an investigation concluded by “three courts”.
“Due to the seriousness of the case, the supreme leader also undertook a final investigation and after discussion with scholars confirmed the execution,” the statement said.
The execution underscored the intentions of Afghanistan’s rulers to continue hardline policies implemented since their takeover.
Last year, the Supreme Court announced punishments such as public lashings for those accused of offences such as robbery and adultery, signalling a possible return to practices common under Taliban rule in the 1990s.
The first confirmed public execution under the Taliban since its return to power occurred in December in the western province of Farah before hundreds of spectators and more than a dozen senior Taliban officials. A man also convicted of murder was executed with an assault rifle by his victim’s father, a government spokesperson said.
The United Nations mission in the country reported in May that more than 300 people had been publicly flogged in six months as it called for an end to the practice. It also urged an end to the death penalty.
Afghanistan witnessed public lashings and deaths by stoning during the previous rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001.
Such punishments exponentially decreased after the Taliban’s collapse in 2001 and were condemned by subsequent foreign-backed governments although the death penalty remained legal.