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Taliban Declares Executions Will Resume in Afghanistan

The Taliban announced that it will bring back executions in Afghanistans. Credit: Resolute Support Media, CC BY 2.0

The Taliban said on Thursday that it will be using executions as a form of punishment in Afghanistan once more.

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the terrorist organization and perhaps its strictest enforcer of the group’s interpretation of Sharia law, confirmed the return of executions in an interview with The Associated Press.

Turabi rebuffed the negative reactions to the Taliban’s history of public executions and made a striking statement for anyone who might want to prevent the Taliban from enforcing the law as it sees fit:

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi told The Associated Press from Kabul. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”

Since the Taliban overtook Afghanistan this summer, the world has been watching to see what form their rule over the country would take, and how exactly they would impose their interpretation of Sharia Law.

The group had recently announced the formation of a hardline interim government in the first week of September, with some main posts taken by veterans of the militant group and their allies in the Haqqani Network, based in North Waziristan, Pakistan.

Those veterans include Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, who has been the leader of the group’s Shura (Leadership Council) for about two decades. Akhund has now been named Afghanistan’s Prime Minister.

According to Afghanistan watchers, he is seen as a respected figure from the religious – rather than the military — wing of the Taliban.

Mullah Baradar, the chief of the group’s political bureau, will serve as Deputy Prime Minister. Baradar has taken part in peace talks in Qatar in the past on behalf of the Taliban.

The acting Interior Minister of Afghanistan, the leader of the Network, is a man who has a $10 million US bounty on his head — Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Taliban leaders say there will be a return to execution methods of the past

Turabi was the justice minister and head of the “Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” during the Taliban’s last rule in the ’90s.

There was a strong international backlash to the Taliban’s punishments, which were held in public at the sports stadiums in Kabul and the Eid Gah mosque.

These executions were frequently attended by crowds of Afghan men. Executions of convicted murderers were carried out using a single gun shot to the head, which was done by one of the victim’s family members. The family also had the option of accepting an under-the-table payment from the criminal in exchange for freedom. The punishment for convicted thieves is amputation of a hand. For highway robberies, the punishment is amputation of both a hand and a foot.

Turabi said that judges — including women — will preside over the cases, and that Afghanistan’s laws will all be derived from the Quran. He also said that the punishments of the previous rule would be brought back.

“Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security,” said Turabi, who claimed it motivated criminals to avoid theft. He said the Cabinet was studying whether to return to the former regime’s practice of public punishments and will “develop a policy.”

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