Taliban conducts first public execution since taking power

The Taliban conducted their first public execution since their return to power on Wednesday, executing a man convicted of murder. 

The execution, carried out with an assault rifle by the victim’s father, took place in the western Farah province before hundreds of spectators and many top Taliban officials, according to Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s chief spokesman.

The executed man, identified as Tajmir from Herat province, was convicted of killing another man five years ago and stealing his motorcycle and mobile phone. The victim was identified as Mustafa from neighboring Farah province.

Security forces arrested Tajmir after the victim’s family accused him of the crime, Mr Mujahid said. Tajmir had purportedly confessed to the killing.

The spokesman added that the decision to carry out the punishment was “made very carefully” following the approval of three of the country’s highest courts and the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

Mr Akhundzada last month ordered judges to fully enforce the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law, including public executions, stonings and floggings, and the amputation of limbs for thieves.

          Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada. – Afghan Taliban/AFP/Getty Images© Provided by The Telegraph

Separately, the Taliban gave schoolgirls permission to sit exams on Wednesday, in a gesture that was branded “meaningless” as the majority have been forbidden from studying for over a year.

Most Afghan girls have been confined to their homes and have not been able to purchase textbooks or attend online tuition, making the number who sat the exams unclear.

The intense day of testing involved around 140 questions across 17 subjects, according to a head teacher of a Kabul high school. The tests took place in 31 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

“Giving an exam is meaningless,” the head teacher said.

Girls were instructed to wear loose, black clothing and cover their faces and hands, while no male officials, including teachers, were present inside the examination centres.

          Afganistan – STRINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock© Provided by The Telegraph

The move to open examinations to female pupils is understood to be an attempt to appease the international community, with over £2.8 billion of central Afghan funds still frozen by the US.

“Amid international pressure to reopen girls’ schools, the Taliban want to show that they want girls’ education, so that in some way they can benefit from this,” said Zia-ul-Rahman Hasrat, a professor at Kabul University.

Many girls said they were not prepared to sit the exams and would instead wait until next spring in the hope that girls’ secondary schools have reopened by then.

“We didn’t go to school, we didn’t have books and we didn’t study last year, so how can we sit [all these exams] in one day?” said Lima, a 12th year student from Kabul. “What, do the Taliban think that we are geniuses?”


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