Afghanistan: Taliban leader orders strict application of Sharia law

Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada in Afghanistan has ordered judges to apply all the most extreme aspects of Sharia law, including public executions, stonings and the amputation of thieves’ limbs.

The most rigorous Islamic law. The supreme leader of the Taliban in AfghanistanHibatullah Akhundzada, announced the most extreme application of sharia law in the country, going as far as public executions, stonings or the amputation of the limbs of thieves.

It was Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who shared this announcement on Twitter this Sunday, November 13, saying that this order was “mandatory”.

Sharia, according to Islamic law, consists of reprimanding offenses considered the most serious, such as adultery, the act of falsely accusing someone of the latter offense, but also the consumption of alcohol, theft, banditry, apostasy and rebellion. Here Hibatullah Akhundzada provides for different sentences, including corporal punishment.

However, for these convictions to be enforced, these facts “normally” require a very high degree of proof, including, in the case of adultery, the confession or testimony of four adult Muslim men.

Women particularly targeted

Since their return to power on August 15, 2021 in Afghanistanthe Taliban had promised to be more flexible in the application of Sharia, but they have largely returned to the ultra-rigorous interpretation of Islam which marked their first passage to power (1996-2001).

A breach of their promise such that social networks are flooded with videos or images showing Taliban fighters inflicting floggings in the street on people accused of various offenses.

“If they really start to apply” the harsher aspects of Islamic law, it will be to seek “to create the fear that society gradually lost after their return to power”, explains Rahima Popalzai, legal and political analyst in Afghanistan.

For fifteen months, women, in particular, have seen hard-won rights evaporate and they are increasingly excluded from public life. Most of them have lost their jobs or are on starvation wages to stay at home.

They are also prohibited from traveling without being accompanied by a male relative and must wear a burqa or hijab when leaving their homes. They have also been banned since last week from entering parks, gardens, public baths and sports halls.

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