Taliban leader orders strict application of Islamic law

Afghanistan’s Taliban supreme leader has ordered judges to enforce all aspects of Islamic law, including public executions, stoning and flogging, and amputation of limbs for thieves, the spokesperson reported. word of the Taliban.

In a tweet on Sunday evening, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the “binding” order came from Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada after a meeting with a group of judges.

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Akhundzada, who has not been filmed or photographed in public since the Taliban returned to power in August 2021, rules the country by decree from Kandahar (south), cradle of the fundamentalist Islamist movement.

“Carefully review the records of thieves, kidnappers and seditious,” the spokesperson wrote, quoting Akhundzada. “These files in which all the conditions of Sharia (Islamic law) … have been met, you are obliged to apply” all the sanctions provided for, he continued. The Taliban spokesman was unavailable Monday to provide further details.

Very high degree of proof

The Supreme Leader refers to offenses considered by Islamic law as the most serious and for which different sentences are provided, including corporal punishment. They include adultery, falsely accusing someone of the latter offence, but also the consumption of alcohol, theft, banditry, apostasy and rebellion.

According to Islamic scholars, conviction for some of these facts requires a very high degree of proof, including, in the case of adultery, the confession or testimony of four adult Muslim men.

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Ultra-rigorous interpretation

Upon their return to power, the Taliban had promised to be more flexible in the application of the Sharia, but they have largely returned to the ultra-rigorous interpretation of Islam which had marked their first passage to power (1996- 2001). They then punished in public the perpetrators of theft, kidnapping, or adultery, with penalties such as flogging, amputation or stoning.

Women, in particular, have seen hard-won rights evaporate in the past fifteen months, and they are increasingly shut out of public life. Most of them have lost their jobs – or are on starvation wages to stay at home. Women are also prohibited from traveling without being accompanied by a male relative and must wear a burqa or hijab when leaving their homes.

Last week, the Taliban also banned them from entering parks, gardens, sports halls and public baths.

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