Taliban Thugs Film Beating of Afghan Comedian Shortly Before Murder

Nazar Mohammad is abducted by Taliban militants and later murdered. Screencap Twitter.com/@bsarwary (Original footage from unnamed Taliban kidnappers)
Screencap Twitter.com/@bsarwary (Original footage from unnamed Taliban kidnappers)

A Taliban spokesman confirmed Thursday that Taliban thugs murdered comedian Nazar Mohammad in southern Afghanistan shortly after a video went viral that showed Mohammad being abducted and beaten.

Mohammad, who has also worked as a police officer in Kandahar, posted satirical videos online under the name Khasha Zawaan. He was noted for his self-deprecating sense of humor and riffing on topics suggested to him by fans.

Goons dragged Mohammad from his home last week, shoved him in a car, and slapped him when he tried to make a joke, recording all of the exchange uploading it to the Internet:

Photographs of Mohammad’s bullet-riddled body hanging from a tree were later posted online. His final joke, captured in the video of his abduction, involved telling his captors they had “mustaches on their backsides.” Mustaches are seen as symbols of courage in southern Afghanistan.

Mohammad’s family accused the Taliban of kidnapping and killing him, a charge the extremist group originally denied. Taliban social media accounts later claimed responsibility for abducting and killing him, saying he was targeted because his jokes insulted Taliban prisoners.

On Thursday, the Associated Press quoted Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirming that the men who took Mohammad were Taliban who, after beating and “interrogating” their victim, executed him with multiple gunshots.

Mujahid claimed Mohammad was killed because he was working as a member of the Afghan National Police and participated in the “torture and killing” of Taliban prisoners. He added that the kidnappers should have brought him to a Taliban court for trial and would be punished for killing him in cold blood.

Mohammad’s videotaped abduction and murder prompted shock and outrage across Afghanistan and around the world. Watercolor paintings of him flooded social media as Afghans evidently awakened to the threat a Taliban takeover poses to artistic expression and civil society.

Mohammad was among dozens of civilians known to have been taken from their homes and executed by the Taliban as it pushes toward the capital of Kabul. Taliban thugs are reportedly interested in kidnapping and killing government employees in the cities they conquer.

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