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Afghanistan: Public execution by the Taliban is 'cruel, inhuman and degrading'

© AFP via Getty Images

First public execution since the Taliban’s return to power

Public execution took place at a crowded sports stadium in south-western Farah province

‘This retrograde step by the Taliban is a major step back for human rights’ - Dinushika Dissanayake

Responding to the first public execution by the Taliban today since their takeover of power in Afghanistan, Dinushika Dissanayake, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for South Asia, said:

“The deplorable return of public executions in Afghanistan is the latest phase in Taliban’s alarming abuse of human rights in the country. They continue to flagrantly flout human rights principles with complete disregard for international human rights law.

“Carrying out executions in public adds to the already cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty and can only have a dehumanising effect on the victim and a brutalising effect on those who witness the execution. Such public displays of killing perpetuate a culture of acceptance of violence, rather than a belief in justice.

“All executions violate the right to life. Those carried out publicly are a gross affront to human dignity which cannot be tolerated. This retrograde step by the Taliban is a major step back for human rights.”

The execution

Taj Mir of Herat province was publicly executed today at a crowded sports stadium in south-western Farah province. He was convicted of murder by the highest Taliban courts as per the statement issued by the Taliban.

The execution in the western Farah province was witnessed by hundreds of spectators with many high-ranking Taliban officials present including: Mawlawi Abdul Hakim, the Taliban Chief Justice; Abdul Ghani Barader, the Taliban Deputy Prime-Minister; Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Taliban Minister of Interior; Mohammad Khalid Hanafi, the Taliban Minister of Vice and Virtue; and Abdul Hakim Sharghi, the Taliban minister of justice.

According to UN human rights experts, executions in public serve no legitimate purpose and only increase the cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of this punishment.

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