US condemns 'despicable' Afghan public execution and presses Taliban in talks

The US State Department said it had seen videos indicating a Taliban return to 'regressive and abusive practices'

State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the Taliban are defaulting back to their violence from the 1990s. AFP
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The US on Wednesday said the Taliban's public execution in Afghanistan showed a return to the group's dark past as it pressed on human rights during a meeting.

"We've seen despicable videos that have circulated online in recent days," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

"This indicates to us that the Taliban seek a return to their regressive and abusive practices of the 1990s."

"It would be an affront to the dignity and the human rights of all Afghans," Mr Price said, calling it a "clear failure by the Taliban to uphold their promises".

The execution was announced as the US special representative to Afghanistan, Thomas West, met in Abu Dhabi with a Taliban delegation led by their Defence Minister Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of the group's founder, Mullah Omar.

Mr West said he raised the "deteriorating human rights situation", including treatment of women and girls, who have been deprived education since the Taliban swept back into power.

"The country's economic and social stability and the Taliban's domestic and international legitimacy depend enormously on their treatment of Afghanistan's mothers and daughters," Mr West wrote on Twitter.

The Taliban have said they plan to fully enforce their extremist interpretation of Sharia, including public stoning, floggings and amputation of limbs from thieves.

The US started negotiations with the Taliban under former president Donald Trump's administration to seek security guarantees for the withdrawal of US troops, who left in 2021 after two decades on orders of President Joe Biden.

US mediators had initially sought assurances on rights from the Taliban but a tentative dialogue with a range of Afghans and the western-backed government collapsed as the insurgents swiftly captured the country.

Updated: December 07, 2022, 10:18 PM