Taliban’s Supreme Court Continues to Hand Out Medieval Punishments to Citizens as 9 Flogged in Kandahar, 2 in Badakhshan

Guess what? Despite global outcry and pressure put on the Taliban by international organisations, the group has not stopped handing out cruel, inhuman judgements. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the Taliban announced that the local officials of this group in Kandahar, a southern province in Afghanistan, and in northern Badakhshan, punished individuals on charges of embezzlement and robbery and handed out judgements in accordance with their interpretation of the Sharia law.

Go deeper:

  • The nine accused had been found guilty by the verdict of the Kandahar Province Appeal Court and were punished in public at the Ahmad Shah Stadium of Kandahar city.
  • Sources of Reporterly in Kandahar, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that the employees of the Taliban’s department of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice of this province flogged these people.
  • Some local media outlets have also reported that the Taliban fighters cut off the hands of four robbers, however, Reporterly’s sources could not confirm this piece of information.
  • In the northern province of Badakhshan too, Reporterly’s sources said that the Taliban flogged a boy and a girl in full public view on charges of illicit relations and talking on the phone.
  • Both are residents of Shuhada and Baharak districts and had spent several months in Taliban prison.
  • Previously, in different provinces, the Taliban has been implementing their interpretation of the Sharia law which has had widespread reactions.

Fun fact: Reporterly’s sources also added that while the verdict was being executed, armed robbers stole three motorcycles from the stadium.

Back story: On December 22, 2022, the Taliban’s supreme court had announced that a group of 22 individuals, including women, was flogged in a crowded sports stadium in Sheberghan, the capital of the northern province of Jowzjan.

  • Each was given between 25 and 39 lashes for alleged crimes, including adultery, gay sex, running away from home, drug trafficking and theft, the statement said.
  • Apart from that, on December 21, 11 men and a woman were flogged in central Ghor province for committing similar crimes.
  • Taliban has carried out floggings of more than 130 men and women in crowded sports stadiums in several provinces and the capital, Kabul, since mid-November.
  • The Islamist group previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 when Taliban authorities would routinely carry out punishments in public, including floggings and executions at sports stadiums before crowds of spectators.

Zoom out: These punishments began after Taliban Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada last month ordered judges to uphold aspects of Islamic law, including implementation of Hudood (crimes against God) and Qisas (retribution in kind) punishments. The order also led to the first public execution of a convicted murder since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August 2021.

  • The reversion to harsh punishments drew international outrage but Taliban rulers rejected the outcry as “reprehensible” and an “insult” to their religious beliefs.
  • Taliban foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi defended his government’s policies and stressed the need for other countries to work toward bridging the mutual trust deficit.
  • Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s spokesperson, said that calling the Islamic penal code of flogging an “inhumane and cruel act” showed disrespect to Islam and was a violation of international principles.

Back story:

During the previous Taliban rule in the 1990s, public floggings and executions were common in Afghanistan.

Last week, Taliban authorities carried out what is believed to be the first public execution since they seized power in August 2021. The UN human rights office, OHCHR, described it as a “deeply disturbing” development.

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