Virtue & Vice Back In Afghanistan; Stoning For Illegal Intercourse, Hands To Be Chopped For Theft

Kabul: It is yesterday once more in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s infamous Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is back after 20 years. A Taliban official was quoted as saying that their purpose is to “serve Islam”, for which the Ministry of Virtue and Vice is needed, according to a New York Post report, News18 reported.

In other words, it means enforcing the Sharia law, including banning women from stepping outside without a male companion and prohibiting music and other entertainment.

“We will punish as per the Islamic rules. Whatever Islam guides us, we will punish accordingly,” said Mohammad Yusuf, who claimed to be responsible for the “central zone” of Afghanistan. The Taliban, in their earlier regime, flogged, stoned, amputated and publicly executed people as punishments for crimes.

Yusuf told New York Post that the hands of thieves will be cut off and those involved in “illegal intercourse” will be stoned, which was previously the punishment meant for women. He also said that a murderer who intentionally committed the crime will be killed and if it turns out to be unintentional, a certain amount of fee will be levied.

Yusuf added that four witnesses are required and those witnesses “should all have the same story.” “If there is a small difference in the story, there will be no punishment. But if all of them are saying the same thing, the same way and the same time, there will be punishment,” the New York Post quoted Yusuf as saying.

The offenders will be punished if the Supreme Court finds them guilty, he said.

“We just want a peaceful country with Islamic rules and regulations. Peace and Islamic rulings are the only wishes we have,” Yusuf was quoted as saying.

In Geneva, the outgoing government’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday that the Taliban have already broken their promises to safeguard women and protect human rights.

“The Taliban have vowed to respect women’s rights but women’s rights are disappearing from the landscape,” Nasir Ahmad Andisha, who remains accredited at U.N. bodies despite the collapse of the government he represents, told the Human Rights Council.

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