Taliban leader orders Sharia law punishments

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The BBC reported on November 14 that Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada has ordered Afghan judges to impose punishments for certain crimes that may include public amputations and stoning.

 

His spokesman reportedly said offences such as robbery, kidnapping and sedition must be punished in line with the group’s interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

 

When in power in the 1990s, the Taliban were condemned for such punishments, which included public executions.

 

They promised to rule more moderately when they retook power last year.

 

But since then the militant Islamist group has steadily cracked down on freedoms. Women’s rights in particular have been severely restricted.

 

The Taliban’s supreme leader said judges must punish criminals according to Sharia, if the crime committed is a violation of those laws, the BBC noted.

 

The Taliban’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted late on Sunday that the “obligatory” command came after Mullah Akhundzada met a group of judges.

 

“Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” Mujahid quoted Akhundzada as saying.

 

The exact crimes and punishments have not been defined by the Taliban, but one religious leader in Afghanistan told the BBC that under Sharia law, penalties could include amputations, public lashings and stoning.

 

The order is the latest evidence the Taliban are taking a tougher line on rights and freedoms.

 

Last week they banned women from visiting all parks in Kabul, excluding them still further from public life. It has since emerged the ban extends to women in the capital visiting public baths and gyms, although the latter attracted relatively few women.

 

Source: Asia-Plus