KABUL: Taliban authorities publicly executed a convicted murderer by gunfire in a sports stadium on Monday, officials said, the third death penalty carried out in Afghanistan in a matter of days.

The man — found guilty of a January 2022 knife murder — was executed in northern Sheberghan city on a death warrant signed by Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Supreme Court statement said.

The statement identified the condemned man as Nazar Muhammad and said his case “was examined very thoroughly and repeatedly”.

He was shot five times in front of the family of his victim — including women and children — as well as thousands of onlookers in the stadium, a local provincial official said.

Since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, a handful of executions have been conducted in accordance with their government’s policy.

Akhundzada ordered judges in 2022 to fully implement all aspects of Islamic law — including “eye for an eye” punishments known as “qisas”.

Last week two other men were executed by multiple gunshots to the back in eastern Ghazni city on death warrants also signed by Akhundzada. According to a tally, there have now been five death penalties carried out since the Taliban returned.

Corporal punishments — mainly flogging — have been common, however, and employed for crimes including theft, adultery and alcohol consumption.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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