The Taliban are believed to have carried out their first public execution since retaking power in Afghanistan last year.
According to a Taliban spokesperson, a man was killed after confessing to murder at a crowded sports stadium in southwestern Farah province.
It comes just weeks after judges were told to fully implement Sharia law.
Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme leader, issued the edict last month, ordering judges to impose punishments that could include public executions, amputations, and stoning.
However, the Taliban has not officially defined specific crimes and punishments.
While several public floggings have occurred recently, including one in front of a crowded football stadium in Logar province last month, this is the first time the Taliban has publicly admitted to carrying out an execution.
The execution was witnessed by several Supreme Court justices, military personnel, and senior ministers, including the justice, foreign, and interior ministers, according to their spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
Mohammad Khaled Hanafi, the minister for vice and virtue in charge of imposing the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, was also present. Prime Minister Hasan Akhund, however, did not attend, according to the statement.
The executed man, Tajmir, a son of Ghulam Sarwar and a resident of Herat province, stabbed a man named Mustafa about five years ago, according to the Taliban.
He was later found guilty by three Taliban courts and sentenced by Mullah Akhundzada.
According to a later statement from a Taliban spokesperson, the execution was carried out by the victim’s father, who shot the man three times.
A public notice was issued prior to the execution, publicizing the event and “inviting all citizens to join us on the sporting field.”
According to the murdered man’s mother, Taliban leaders pleaded with her to forgive the man, but she insisted on his execution.
“Taliban approached me and begged me to forgive this infidel,” she explained. “They begged me to forgive this man for the sake of God, but I told them that this man must be executed and buried in the same manner as he did to my son.”
“This could serve as a lesson to others,” she added. “He will commit other crimes in the future if you do not execute him.”
During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban were condemned for regularly carrying out public punishments, including executions at Kabul’s national stadium.
The Taliban vowed not to repeat the brutal repression of women. Women’s liberties have been severely restricted since they took power, and a number of women have been beaten for demanding rights.
At the moment, no country has recognized their new government, and the World Bank has withheld approximately $600 million (£458 million) after the Taliban banned girls from returning to secondary schools.
The US has also frozen billions of dollars held by Afghanistan’s central bank in accounts around the world.