[Fox News] Taliban publicly execute three people in five days as means of intimidation: ‘their version of Sharia law’

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The Taliban have staged three public executions in the past week, marking a sharp jump after months of inactivity in an act clearly intended to intimidate the Afghan people, an expert told Fox News Digital. 

“Our understanding of the situation just decreases daily; however, I would say the Taliban are interested in asserting their dominance over the Afghan people,” Bill Roggio, the Founding Editor of “The Long War Journal,” said. 

“We have to remember their primary reason for existence is to impose sharia, or Islamic law, on the Afghan people,” Roggio added. “They view that as a number-one priority, and executions for various crimes – theft, or adultery or other crimes – that is a means for them to impose Sharia.”

“I don’t believe anything they’re doing here is to send a message externally,” Roggio stressed. “This is the Taliban asserting their control over the Afghan people.”

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Courts convicted the three men of murder: The first man, identified as Nazar Mohammad from the Faryab province, killed one person; the other two had stabbed victims to death. Relatives of the victims shot the convicts while standing in arenas where thousands of people watched, The Associated Press reported. 

The brother of the murdered man shot Nazar Mohammad five times with a rifle, according to a witness, who spoke on condition of anonymity and added that security around the stadium was tight. Three of the country’s highest courts and the Taliban supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, approved Mohammed’s execution. 

Separate statements from the supreme court said a man and a woman convicted of adultery were flogged with 35 lashes each in northern Balkh province over the weekend. Two other people were given 30 lashes each in eastern Laghman province, also over the weekend, for allegedly committing immoral acts.

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The State Department told Fox News Digital that it has “seen reports” of “three public executions in five days” and denounced such killings as “an affront to the dignity and human rights of all Afghans.” 

“We continue to monitor the Taliban’s treatment of the people of Afghanistan,” a State Department spokesperson wrote in an email. “At every opportunity, we emphasize to the Taliban that their relationship with the international community is contingent upon their respect for the rights of all Afghans.”

The Taliban waited over a year after taking power before authorizing the first public execution under their new government. The courts had convicted the executed man of killing another man, continuing what many labeled as hard-line policies. 

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Authorities shot the man with an assault rifle used by the victim’s father. Hundreds of spectators and many top Taliban officials – some who had traveled from the capital Kabul to western Farah province – witnessed the execution.

The government carried out only one further execution in the following year – another murderer who had killed five people in two separate incidents. Again, the executioner used a gun owned by the son of one of the victims. 

Roggio explained that the Taliban seemingly reserved public execution for convictions of murder, but could also extend to theft, adultery and other act perceived as “crimes against the Taliban state.”

“I haven’t seen any visual confirmation, but I see no reason not to believe it,” Roggio said. “If you go back to the 1990s, the Taliban were executing women, burying them to their heads and stoning them and things like that in soccer stadiums and stadiums in Kabul.”

“The purpose of the arena, again, is a public display of execution: It helps promote a message, so if they’re not hiding this, they don’t want to hide these executions,” Roggio argued. “They want the public to see that the Taliban is upholding their version of Sharia law.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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