Afghan supreme leader orders full implementation of sharia law
Public executions and amputations some of the punishments for crimes including adultery and theft
Afghanistan’s supreme leader has ordered judges to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law that include public executions, stonings, floggings and the amputation of limbs for thieves, the Taliban’s chief spokesperson said.
Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted on Sunday that the “obligatory” command by Haibatullah Akhundzada came after the secretive leader met with a group of judges.
Akhundzada, who has not been filmed or photographed in public since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, rules by decree from Kandahar, the movement’s birthplace and spiritual heartland.
“Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” Mujahid quoted Akhundzada as saying. Those files in which all the sharia [Islamic law] conditions of hudud and qisas have been fulfilled, you are obliged to implement. This is the ruling of sharia, and my command, which is obligatory.”
Mujahid was not available on Monday to expand on his tweet.
Hudud refers to offences for which, under Islamic law, certain types of punishment are mandated, while qisas translates as “retaliation in kind” – effectively 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.
Qisas covers murder and deliberate injury, among other things, but also allows for the families of victims to accept compensation in lieu of punishment.
Islamic scholars say crimes leading to hudud punishment require a very high degree of proof, including – in the case of adultery – confession, or being witnessed by four adult male Muslims.
Since last year’s takeover, videos and pictures of Taliban fighters meting out summary floggings to people accused of various offences have appeared frequently on social media.
The hard-won rights of women in particular have evaporated in the past 15 months, and they are increasingly being squeezed out of public life.
In the past week, the Taliban also banned women from entering parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths.