Afghanistan's Taliban, notorious for summary public executions, urged the United Nations on Thursday to press the Afghan government to stop executing prisoners on death row, citing concern about fair trials, reported Reuters.
Afghanistan resumed executions this week after a break of more than a year with nine people, including three members of the Taliban, put to death for murder, rape and hostage-taking.
The executions followed a public outcry over rising crime.
About 120 other people have been sentenced to death and their fate rests with President Hamid Karzai, who has to approve any execution order.
The United Nations and European Union have called on Karzai to halt the executions, citing concern about the standards of judicial fairness.
A spokesman for Navanethem Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the law enforcement and judicial systems in Afghanistan currently fall far short of internationally accepted standards, adding misconduct by police and the judiciary had been well documented.
The Taliban leadership council said it too was worried about fair trials.
"We strongly request the U.N., the EU, the Red Cross and human rights groups to earnestly prevent this barbaric act," the Taliban said in a statement on their website.
The Taliban, fighting to overthrow the pro-Western government, have executed dozens of captured soldiers and civilians since U.S.-led forces ousted the Islamist movement in 2001.
The Taliban executed many people during their rule from 1996 until 2001, occasionally staging killings in public at Kabul's main sports stadium.
In their statement, the Taliban warned the government against more executions saying they would respond, but did not elaborate.
The Taliban have stepped up their insurgency over the past two years and as security has deteriorated, crime has increased.
Fed up with crime, many ordinary Afghans have called on the government to carry out death sentences.