Afghanistan: Executions will return, says senior Taliban official

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, now in charge of prisons, said AP News’s decision was “necessary for security”.

He said the sanctions were unlikely to be released publicly, as they were under the former Taliban regime in the 1990s.

But he vented his anger on their public killings in the past: “No one will tell us what our laws should be.”

Since taking office in Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban have pledged to rule in a far grander way than before.

However, there have been several reports of human rights abuses across the country.

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch warned that the Herat Taliban were “searching for high-ranking women, depriving women of the freedom to travel outside their homes and forcing them to dress appropriately”.

And in August, Amnesty International claimed that Taliban militants were responsible for the assassination of nine members of a small Hazara group.

Amnesty’s secretary-general Agnès Callamard said at the time the “absurd brutality” of the killings was “a reminder of the past Taliban record, and a shocking indication of what the Taliban law could bring”.

A few days before the Taliban took power in Kabul, a Taliban judge in Balkh, Judge Badruddin, told the BBC’s Secunder Kermani that he supported the group’s difficult and true interpretation of Islamic law.

“In our Sharia it is clear, for those who have sex and are not married, be it a girl or a boy, the punishment is 100 lashes in public,” Badruddin said. “But for anyone who is married, he must be stoned to death … For those who steal: if it is proved, his hand must be cut off.”

These hardline ideas are in line with other ultra-conservative Afghans.

Turabi – who is on the UN sanctions list for his past actions – said Taliban cabinet ministers are now discussing whether or not to impose public sanctions, and whether they will formulate a “policy”.

Back in the 1990’s, massacres were common in the Kabul stadium, or on the main courtyard of the Eid Gah church.

At the time, Turabi was the minister of justice and head of the Department of Broadcasting for Beauty and Prevention of the Vice-Taliban religious police.

“Everyone has criticized us for the punishments that took place in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their rules and punishments,” he said in a recent interview.

Earlier this week, the Taliban again asked to speak at the UN General Assembly, held in New York City.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said while it was important to communicate with the Taliban, “the UN General Assembly is not the right place for that”.

The United States has said it will not run in the by-elections until next week.

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