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Taliban will bring back executions, cutting off hands, feet as punishment: Official

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The Taliban will bring back harsh punishments including executions and severing of limbs as punishments for crimes committed by the public, a group official told The Associated Press.

Since seizing control of Afghanistan on August 15, the Taliban have launched a charm offensive to rehabilitate their hardline image from their 1996-2001 era when they performed public executions, men who didn’t pray in mosques where whipped, women’s every day movements were restricted and an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, Sharia, was enforced.

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The Taliban’s new government consists of mainly senior group members. The group disbanded the Ministry of Women Affairs and brought back the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

However, it seems the Taliban are not changing much of their core values as Mullah Nooruddin Turabi stressed in an interview with The Associated Press that the group will carry out punishments as it sees fit and demanded the international community not interfere.

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium [public executions], but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments. No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran,” Turabi said.

Turbai, who was the head of the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice during the Taliban’s previous era, said that murder crimes will be punished by a public execution, which the group used to mete out by a single bullet to the head.

However, the option remains for the murdered victim’s family to opt for accepting “blood money” to spare the life of the murder.

Thievery will be punished with the amputation of the hand and for highway robberies, the punishment is the amputation of a hand and a foot.

“Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security” due its deterrent effect, Turbai said.

Turbai said that this time around, the Taliban will have judges adjudicate cases before handing out punishments.

“We are changed from the past,” he said.

He said now the Taliban would allow television, mobile phones, photos and video “because this is the necessity of the people, and we are serious about it.” He suggested that the Taliban saw the media as a way to spread their message. “Now we know instead of reaching just hundreds, we can reach millions,” he said.

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