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UN Official Condemns Public Execution By Taliban --> A 2,000-year-old statue of Buddha in the Bamyan Valley destroyed by the Taliban (file photo) (epa) PRAGUE, June 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A top UN official has condemned in "very strong terms" the reported public execution of an alleged murderer by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the UN's special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, said the execution reportedly took place in early May in front of a large crowd in Afghanistan's central Daikondi Province.

Despouy noted that a return to the practice of turning executions into public spectacles "harks back to the worst excesses of the old [Taliban] regime."

He said it is unacceptable for a nonstate entity, such as the Taliban, to exercise a state function by trying and punishing an alleged criminal.

Afghan officials have not reacted to the UN statement.

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