Taliban authorities announced that they carried out the second public execution since their return to power in Afghanistan in 2021. The executed man was convicted of murder and was gunned down on the grounds of a mosque in the town of Sultan Ghazi Baba in Laghman province.
While public executions were common during the first Taliban government between 1996 and 2001, since their return to power in 2021, only one execution has been recorded since last December in Farah province. However, the Taliban authorities have regularly resorted to floggings for crimes such as theft, adultery, and alcohol consumption.
The executed person, identified as “Ajmal, son of Naseem,” was convicted of five murders. The execution was witnessed by around 2,000 people, including relatives of Ajmal’s victims, and was carried out according to Sharia rules.
Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhunzada last year ordered judges to fully apply all aspects of Sharia law, including the “qisas” punishment, which implies the principle of “an eye for an eye.”
In this execution, Ajmal was executed by an executioner with an AK-47 instead of a relative of the victims, as permitted by the qisas. Ajmal’s case reportedly went through all avenues of appeal, and the final decision to proceed with the execution was made by the supreme leader.
Public executions generate fear and emotions among the population, as they are not a common practice in the country. Afghanistan’s Supreme Court indicated that extensive consultations were held and the Qisas order was approved before proceeding with the execution.
No details were provided on the dates on which Ajmal committed the murders or the specific locations where they occurred.