A leader in the new Taliban government is promising a return to barbaric punishments.
The Taliban will resume executions and the amputation of hands for criminals they convict, in a return to their harsh version of Islamic justice.
According to a senior official – a veteran leader of the hardline Islamist group who was in charge of justice during its previous period in power – executions would not necessarily take place in public as they did before.
The Taliban’s first period ruling Afghanistan during the 1990s, before they were toppled by a US-led invasion in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, was marked by the grisly excesses of its perfunctory justice system, which included public executions in the football stadium in Kabul.
What was interesting was the reasoning that was given.
“Everyone criticised us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi said in Kabul. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Qur’an.”
“Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security,” Turabi added, saying it had a deterrent effect. He said the cabinet was studying whether to carry out punishments in public and would “develop a policy”.
Saying that these punishments had a ‘deterrent effect’ is the same rationale as that given by supporters of the death penalty in the US, which is also a barbaric punishment.
But do not expect supporters of the death penalty to see how similar their mindset is to that of the Taliban.