Supreme leader orders Sharia law be fully implemented in Afghanistan
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Afghanistan’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzad, has ordered judges to fully enforce Sharia law in the country.
The Guardian reported that the Taliban’s chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid explained how Sharia law would come into full force after the leader met with a group of judges.
“Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” he quoted Akhundzad saying.
Although the Taliban has not outlined the exact punishments, an Afghanistan religious leader told BBC News penalties could include amputations, public lashings and stoning.
While the political movement was condemned for such violent executions between 1996 to 2001, they promised to implement softer rules after they seized power in August last year.
However, the Taliban has already cracked down on the freedoms of the public, with women's rights being severely restricted.
Legal and political analyst Rahima Popalzai said the move could be a strategic way for the militant group to regain its brutal reputation over Islamic justice.
“If they really start to implement hudud and qisas, they will be aiming to create the fear that society has gradually lost,” she said, as per The Guardian.
“As a theocratic setup, the Taliban want to strengthen their religious identity among Muslim countries.”
Just last week, the group prohibited women from using gyms, public baths and parks.
ABC News reported that a spokesman from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice said the ban was imposed after the public refused to follow gender segregation orders.
The agency also claimed that women were not wearing the obligatory headscarf or hijab.
The spokesperson said they had ‘tried their best’ for the past 15 months to prevent banning women from these public spaces.
They even considered enforcing separate days where men and women could access parks and gyms.
"But, unfortunately, the orders were not obeyed and the rules were violated, and we had to close parks and gyms for women," Mr Mohajer said, according to the outlet.
UN special representative in Afghanistan for women, Alison Davidian, has denounced the ban, accusing the group of denying women their livelihood, as per AP News.
"This is yet another example of the Taliban's continued and systematic erasure of women from public life," she said.
"We call on the Taliban to reinstate all rights and freedoms for women and girls."