Afghanistan: Taliban must halt all executions and abolish death penalty – Amnesty International

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Responding to the double public executions by the Taliban yesterday, Livia Saccardi, Amnesty International’s interim Deputy Regional Director for South Asia, said:

“We oppose all executions as a violation of the right to life. The Taliban has been repeatedly carrying them out publicly which is a gross affront to human dignity as well as a violation of international laws and standards and cannot be tolerated.

“Amnesty International reiterates that the Taliban de-facto authorities must immediately halt all executions and abolish the death penalty and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishments. Carrying out executions in public adds to the inherent cruelty of the death penalty and can only have a dehumanizing effect on the victim and a brutalizing effect on those who witness the executions. Meanwhile, the protection of the right to a fair trial under the Taliban`s de facto authority remains seriously concerning.

We oppose all executions as a violation of the right to life.

Livia Saccardi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for South Asia

“It’s high time that the international community and the UN up the pressure on the blatant human rights violations by the Taliban and help ensure that international safeguards are respected in Afghanistan.”

Background:

The Taliban carried out a double public execution at a stadium in Ghazni city in southeastern Afghanistan on 22 February, as thousands watched the shooting of two convicted men as their victims’ relatives fired the gunshot.

The two executed men were identified as Syed Jamal from central Wardak province and Gul Khan from Ghazni. They were allegedly responsible for the stabbing to death of two people in separate attacks. The department of culture and information of Ghazni province in a statement said that the decision was made on the basis of the Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada’s decree and the rulings of three courts.

Amnesty International has previously condemned the resumption of public executions in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of power. Last year, in its annual Death Penalty report, Amnesty International documented the highest number of judicial executions recorded globally since 2017. As of today, 112 countries have fully abolished the death penalty and more than two thirds are abolitionist in law or practice. The organization has been campaigning for complete abolition of the death penalty since 1977.

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