The Taliban will stick to their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia, a spokesman said on Thursday, underlining the group’s intention to continue the tough policies implemented since they took control of the country. More than a year ago.
During their previous years in power in the late 1990s, the Taliban carried out public executions, floggings, and stoning of those convicted of crimes in Taliban courts.
After invading Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from the country after 20 years of war, the Taliban initially promised to be more moderate and respect human rights. women and minorities.
Instead, they clamped down more heavily on rights and freedoms.
Women are banned from parks, fairgrounds, gymnasiums and most forms of employment. They are ordered to cover themselves from head to toe. Girls are prohibited from going to school beyond the sixth grade. There are also crackdowns on music and the media.
According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhunzada, met with Taliban judges a few days ago and asked them to apply Sharia in their rulings.
Mujahid said the instruction gave the impression that Islamic law had been abandoned in the Islamic emirate, as the Taliban call their administration. But that is not the case, he added.
“It does not mean that the Islamic emirate has not enforced the limits of Almighty Allah since coming to power,” he said. “On the contrary, the Islamic emirate is committed to implementing all Sharia laws from day one.”
Videos and photos of Taliban fighters punishing people for various offenses have appeared frequently on social media over the past 15 months, although officials have never confirmed these incidents.
In Bamiyan province on Thursday, a young man and woman were arrested and publicly whipped 39 times each for allegedly having an extramarital affair, a witness who lives in the area said.
The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said he went to Shaheed Mazari Stadium where the punishment took place. Hundreds of residents watched but were not allowed to take photos and film, the resident added.
The Taliban brought the couple in and started whipping the couple, at which point the witness said he left. He added that he did not know who the couple was, where they came from or what ultimately happened to them.
The Taliban could not immediately be reached for comment on the incident.
Former insurgents have struggled to transition from insurgency and war to government amid an economic downturn and denial of official recognition by the international community.
The United Nations has said it is increasingly concerned that restrictions on girls’ education, along with other measures restricting fundamental freedoms, will deepen Afghanistan’s economic crisis and lead to greater insecurity. , poverty and isolation.