Taliban ask officials not to carry out public executions unless directed by apex court

Published October 15, 2021
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a press conference in Kabul on September 6, 2021. — AFP/File
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a press conference in Kabul on September 6, 2021. — AFP/File

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has directed local officials to avoid carrying out punishments in public unless the country's top court issues the order for public execution.

In a tweet late on Thursday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that the Council of Ministers has decided that no punishment will be carried out publicly when there is no need to publicise the convict and till the court issues an order for a public punishment.

"Public executions and hanging of bodies should be avoided unless the supreme court issues an order for such an action," he said while giving details of the cabinet meeting.

The Council of Ministers is the name given to the cabinet in the Islamic Emirate.

"If the offender is punished, the punishment must be explained so that the people know about the crime,” the Taliban spokesman said.

Last month, the Taliban had hung the bodies of four alleged kidnappers in the western city of Herat. The incident had been widely criticised and condemned on social media and by rights bodies.

Senior Taliban leader Mullah Nooruddin Turabi told the Associated Press last month that the Taliban government will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.

However, several public executions were carried out after Turabi’s statement. Turabi had served as Minister of Justice during the previous Taliban government from 1996-2001.

Meanwhile, the Taliban government announced on Friday that Sheikh Abdul Hakim had been appointed the chief justice of the supreme court.

Hakim, an ethnic Pashtun cleric and a close confidant of the Taliban chief, earlier headed the Taliban negotiation team in Qatar.

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