KABUL: Nazar Mohammad Khasha, a known Afghan comedian and former police officer, was abducted and later killed by the Taliban in Kandahar last week.
He was first abducted from his house and then killed on Thursday night, according to a Tolo News report.
His family blames the Taliban for the murder.
In a recently released video that went viral on social media, he was seen tied up in a car where he was slapped twice on the face by Taliban fighters after he told a joke.
The video has sparked outrage among the Afghan public and civil society, leaving many concerned with the future of freedom of expression in the country.
Many Afghans in protest to the incident took to social media and ran a hashtag trend ‘Justice4Khasha’.
Afghan officials have also condemned Khasha’s murder, with Sarwar Danish, Second Afghan Vice President on Tuesday in a Facebook post said, “It was a slap in the face of all people of Afghanistan . . . an insult against humanity and dignity.”
Danesh called the act a violation of “justice, knowledge, and art.”
Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesperson for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for Khasha’s murder, accusing the comedian of violence against civilians.
The Taliban insisted that the group usually put their prisoners in the Islamic court instead of their immediate execution, and therefore, the case is under investigation.
The militant group had initially denied responsibility for the murder.