Afghanistan urged to halt further executions

New York, May 10 (IANS) Afghanistan should immediately halt further executions and impose a moratorium on death penalty, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday.

The executions by hanging of six Taliban prisoners on May 8 were the first capital sentences carried out by President Ashraf Ghani since he took office in 2014.

The six executions appear to be part of Ghani’s efforts to respond to critics who have demanded that the government take a harder line against the Taliban, Human Rights Watch said.

Following the April 19 truck bomb attack in Kabul that killed at least 64 people, Ghani vowed to deal severely with those “who shed the blood of our innocent people and soldiers” and vowed to show no mercy when punishing them.

But Human Rights Watch said: “The Afghan government needs to recognize that the death penalty is not only an unacceptably cruel punishment, but ineffective and possibly counterproductive in tackling terrorist threats.

“Delivering justice requires adhering to the highest standards, not flaunting a hanging for the purpose of revenge,” it said.

–IANS

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