JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Here, a lawyer in Kabul offers his observations and perspective on the apparent reinstitution of harsh corporal punishments by the Taliban leadership. For privacy and security reasons we are withholding our correspondent’s name and institutional affiliation. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.
Yesterday one of the Taliban’s top leaders called Nooruddin Turabi said that in Afghanistan they will re-start harsh punishments such as Qusas and cutting off hands of the criminals, especially those who steal. Furthermore, other members and leaders of the same group have now indicated in some of their publications and statements that it is no one’s responsibility to tell them what and how our laws and regulations should be.
The above has raised a lot of concerns in the community and people are concerned if they really are thinking of revival of such punishments in the country. Turabi added that cutting off hands is necessary for the security and safety of the country.
In a recent incident they hanged four persons in Herat and announced that they were members of a group who used to kidnap people for money. There are some other incidents in which they have beaten up people, imposed public shaming, and have put many in prison, announcing that they were involved in some criminal activities.
What raises my concern is that there is no court and prosecution office open in the country now – no one can make any official order under authority. These are warlords ordering punishments and no one in their government is stopping them. They are even supporting such punishments through different statements.