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UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON INDEPENDENCE OF JUDICIARY CONDEMNS PUBLIC EXECUTION FOLLOWING ILLEGAL TRIAL IN AFGHANISTAN

8 June 2006

The following statement was issued today by Leandro Despouy, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers:
It has been reliably reported that the Taliban claim to have carried out a public execution of an alleged murderer following a trial by a local Taliban court, in Ququr village in the district headquarters town of Gizab in Daikundi. The UN expert on judicial independence, Leandro Despouy, today condemned these developments in very strong terms. The execution of Badshah Khan reportedly took place early last month in front of a large crowd. There is currently no effective central judicial and government authority in Gizab hence the community’s reliance continues on traditional community leaders for resolution of conflicts. It has been reported that in some regions like Gizab the Taliban have succeed on influencing the decisions of these traditional communities’ leaders.
“The administration of justice is a function that clearly belongs to the State of Afghanistan”, the expert stated. “It is entirely unacceptable for a non-state entity, such as the Taliban, to exercise a state function by trying and punishing an alleged criminal”. In addition, “the return to the practice of making a public spectacle of the execution harks back to the worst excesses of the old regime”, he noted.
After years of conflict, the people of Afghanistan need an effective, just, and transparent system of criminal justice that reflects its democratically elected institutions. The Special Rapporteur supports the international community and the Afghan people in their efforts to build a law abiding society.