Skip to main content

Legal Help | Ayuda


Afghanistan - Universal Periodic Review - Death Penalty - October 2023

Date: October 11, 2023
Country: Afghanistan
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
View and Download Document:

This report addresses Afghanistan's compliance with its international human rights obligations with respect to the death penalty; arbitrary and unlawful detentions; prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; conditions of detention; and administration of justice and fair trial. 

Afghanistan has not abolished the death penalty or implemented a moratorium on executions, nor has it limited the application of the death penalty to the "most serious crimes." The people under sentence of death in Afghanistan experience poor detention conditions, including torture. Further, in many cases, death sentences are issued arbitrarily, without due process, and without adherence to formal judicial procedures.

This report examines the current state of the death penalty in Afghanistan and recommends that Afghanistan abolish the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This report further recommends, in the meantime, that Afghanistan: (1) strengthen the rule of law; (2) enact constitutional and legislative provisions directly pertaining to the death penalty, such as its application to juveniles, and whether the death penalty is limited to the "most serious crimes"; (3) release data and statistics and provide transparency on the number of death sentences issued; (4) investigate use of force by law enforcement and prison staff; (5) cease the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment and punishment, including in interrogation, detention, and the method of execution; (6) improve conditions of detention; (7) administer justice and provide fair trials; (8) promptly investigate and hold to account those accused of torture; (9) ensure the right to food, safe drinking water and sanitation in detention; (10) ensure medical access and treatment in detention; and (11) end gender-based violence in detention.