Afghan supreme leader orders full application of Islamic law



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Kabul (AFP) – Afghanistan’s supreme leader has ordered judges to fully implement aspects of Islamic law, including public executions, stoning and flogging, and amputation of limbs for thieves, the spokesperson said leader of the Taliban.

Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted on Sunday evening that the “mandatory” order by Hibatullah Akhundzada came after the secret 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 heart.

The Taliban promised a softer version of the hardline rule that characterized their first stint in power, from 1996 to 2001, but gradually cracked down on rights and freedoms.

“Carefully examine the records of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” Mujahid said quoting Akhundzada.

“Those files in which all the Sharia (Islamic law) requirements of hudud and qisas have been met, you are obligated to implement them.

“It is the rule of Sharia, and my commandment, which is obligatory.”

Mujahid was unavailable on Monday to expand on his tweet.

Hudud refers to offenses for which, under Islamic law, certain types of punishment are imposed, while qisas translates to “retribution in kind” – in effect, an eye for an eye.

Hudud crimes include adultery—and falsely accusing someone of it—drinking, theft, kidnapping and highway robbery, apostasy, and rebellion.

Qisas covers murder and willful injury, among other things, but also allows families of victims to accept compensation instead of punishment.

Islamic scholars say crimes leading to the hudud punishment require a very high degree of proof, including – in the case of adultery – a confession or the presence of four adult male Muslims.

Women in particular have seen hard-won rights evaporate over the past 15 months, and they are increasingly pushed out of public life.

Most female government workers have lost their jobs – or are paid a pittance to stay home – while women are barred from traveling without a male relative and must cover themselves with a burqa or a hijab when not at home.

Last week, the Taliban also banned women from entering parks, fairgrounds, gymnasiums and bathhouses.

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