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Death penalty or execution
Last update: December 2020
*Minor updates added November 2021

Death penalty is envisaged under Islamic law.

The former Penal Code was reported to significantly limit the number of crimes punishable by the death penalty and the death penalty was rarely carried out in practice. There were reportedly five executions in 2017, three in 2018, and none was reported in 2019. Approximately 700 people were on death row for ‘ordinary crimes’ or for crimes against internal or external security in November 2019.

Before the Taliban takeover, in the areas under their control, the Taliban imposed punishments through a parallel justice system, based on a strict interpretation of the Sharia. This included instances of executions, including public executions by stoning and shooting.

In cases where there is no nexus to a Convention ground (for example, in some cases of 2.17 Individuals accused of ordinary crimes), the need for subsidiary protection under Article 15(a) QD should be examined. If there is a reasonable degree of likelihood of death penalty or execution, subsidiary protection under Article 15(a) QD shall be granted, unless the applicant is to be excluded in accordance with Article 17 QD.

Please note that exclusion considerations could be relevant.