Afghanistan’s supreme leader has instructed judges to fully implement aspects of Islamic law such as public executions, stoning, flogging and mutilation of thieves, a senior Taliban spokesman said.
Zabihullah Mujahid wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday that Haibatullah Akhundzade’s “compulsory” order came after the deceased. secret leader met with a group of judges.
Since then, Akhundzade has not been filmed or photographed in public Taliban Returning to power in August of last year, he rules from Kandahar, the birthplace and spiritual center of the movement.
The Taliban had promised a softer version of the harsh rule that characterized their first period in power from 1996 to 2001, but gradually began to crack down on rights and freedoms.
Mujahid quoted Akhundzade’s words: “Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and conspirators.” Files with all sharia [Islamic law] If the conditions of territory and retaliation are met, you must comply. This is the ruling of Sharia and my command which is important.”
Mujahid was not available Monday to expand on the tweet.
Hudud refers to crimes for which certain types of punishment are prescribed under Islamic law, while qisas translates to “revenge in kind”—literally, an eye for an eye.
Hudud crimes include adultery – and falsely accusing someone of it – drinking alcohol, theft, kidnapping and highway robbery, apostasy and rebellion.
Retribution covers, among other things, murder and intentional injury, but also allows victims’ families to receive compensation in lieu of punishment.
Islamic scholars say that crimes that trigger the hudud punishment require a very high degree of proof, including – in the case of adultery – a confession or the witnessing of four adult Muslim men.
Since last year’s seizure of power, social media has often shared videos and images of Taliban fighters flogging people accused of various crimes.
On several occasions, the Taliban have also publicly displayed the bodies of kidnappers they say were killed in gunfights.
There are also reports of adulterers being flogged in rural areas after Friday prayers, but independent verification has proved difficult.
Rahima Popalzai, a legal and political analyst, said the decree could be an attempt to shore up a reputation the Taliban may feel has softened since returning to power.
“If they really start imposing hudud and revenge, they will aim to create fear that society is gradually losing,” he said, adding that the Taliban also want to burnish their Islamic credentials. “Taliban as a theocratic organization wants to strengthen its religious identity among Muslim countries.”
Especially the hard-won rights of women it has evaporated in the last 15 monthsand they are increasingly excluded from public life.
Most female government workers have lost their jobs or are paid a meager salary to stay at home, while women are also banned from traveling without a male relative and must cover themselves with a burqa or hijab outside the home.
The Taliban last week banned women from parks, amusement fairs, gymnasiums, and baths.
In the early days of their rule, the Taliban regularly carried out public punishments, including floggings and executions at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul.
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