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Taliban execute two murderers by machine-gunning them through the spine in front of thousands of spectators at football stadium


  • The Taliban continues to execute criminals and dissidents for a range of crimes 

Taliban authorities publicly executed two men convicted of murder today by machine-gunning them through the back in front of a crowd of spectators, reports claim.

Both men were executed by multiple gunshots to the back in Ghazni city after Supreme Court official Atiqullah Darwish read aloud a death warrant signed by Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, Afp reported.

‘These two people were convicted of the crime of murder… after two years of trial in the courts of the country, the order has been signed,’ Darwish said.

Thousands of men gathered in the stadium to witness the execution.

Families of the convicted men’s victims were present and asked if they wanted to grant the condemned a last-minute reprieve but they declined in both cases.

Illustrative image shows an alleged murderer being executed before a crowd in Kabul in 1998

Illustrative image shows an alleged murderer being executed before a crowd in Kabul in 1998

A Taliban fighter looks on as he stands at the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan August 14, 2021

A Taliban fighter looks on as he stands at the city of Ghazni, Afghanistan August 14, 2021

The Taliban administration in Kabul has not been officially recognised by any other government since it took power in 2021 and imposed an austere interpretation of Islam.

Akhundzada ordered judges in 2022 to fully implement all aspects of Islamic law – including ‘eye for an eye’ punishments known as ‘qisas’.

Islamic law, or sharia, acts as a code of living for Muslims worldwide, offering guidance on issues such as modesty, finance and crime.

However, interpretations vary according to local custom, culture and religious schools of thought.

Taliban scholars in Afghanistan have employed one of the most extreme interpretations of the code, including capital and corporal punishments little used by most modern Muslim states.

Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent building a new judicial system under the last foreign-backed government, a combination of Islamic and secular law with qualified prosecutors, defence lawyers and judges.

However, many Afghans complained of corruption, bribery and the slow delivery of justice.

Public executions were common during the Taliban’s first rule from 1996 to 2001.

Thursday’s executions are believed to be the third and fourth death penalties meted out since the Taliban authorities returned to power.

The first two had also been convicted of murder.

There have been regular public floggings for other crimes, however, including theft, adultery and alcohol consumption.

The previous execution was carried out in June 2023, when a convicted murderer was shot dead in the grounds of a mosque in Laghman province in front of some 2,000 people.

Taliban fighters armed with Kalashnikov-style rifles patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, in late 2021

Taliban fighters armed with Kalashnikov-style rifles patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, in late 2021

Many governments, international organisations and aid agencies cut off or severely scaled back their funding for Afghanistan in response – causing a serious knock to the already struggling economy.

The Taliban government has also barred girls and women from high schools and universities, banned them from parks, funfairs and gyms, and ordered them to cover up in public.





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