'Very necessary': Amputating hands as punishment will return, Taliban's enforcer says

25 September 2021, 22:47

Taliban fighters have been enforcing the group's strict law
Taliban fighters have been enforcing the group's strict law. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The Taliban says it is resuming the punishment of amputating hands as a report emerged the group hanged a body from a crane in an Afghan city.

Its fighters have been imposing their interpretation of Islamic law on Afghanistan since seizing the capital Kabul in August.

There had been suggestions the group had moderated somewhat since it was overthrown in 2001, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, for sheltering Al Qaeda militants,

Those claims had been greeted by scepticism by observers and many Afghans, who feared reprisal attacks, a clampdown on women's rights and an authoritarian approach to rule.

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the Taliban's founders and its chief enforcer when the group last had power, confirmed to the Associated Press that executions and amputations of hands would be brought back.

However, they may not take place in public.

"Everyone criticised us for the punishments... but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments," Turabi said, describing cutting off hands as "very necessary for security".

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He went on: "No one will tell us what our laws should be."

It comes as Taliban tries to push for international recognition as the legitimate government, having overthrown the previous Afghan republic.

Although the group's leaders have embraced modern technology like video and mobile phones, they are still very conservative, maintaining a hard-line worldview.

Girls have already been banned from secondary education and the women's ministry has been replaced with a "vice and virtue" team which imposes the new laws.

The Associated Press was told four bodies were brought to the main square of Herat, a city in western Afghanistan, and one was hanged from a crane there.

The other three were taken to other squares in Herat for display.

The Taliban said the four had been caught kidnapping and had been killed by police.