While no one thinks the Taliban will become liberal, many political analysts expect them to “mature policy” when they take power for the second time in Afghanistan.
The first period of the Taliban regime, from 1996 to 2001, was characterized, among other things, by gross human rights violations, public executions and the suppression of women’s rights.
Since capturing the capital Kabul in August 2021, Taliban commanders have indicated they have learned from past mistakes. But a year later, the human rights situation in Afghanistan has not improved.
The return of public executions
On Wednesday (7/12), Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced that a man convicted of murder had served his death sentence in public. The executions were the first since the return of the Taliban.
In his statement, he said that “Qisas”, a rule referring to the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’, was implemented against a man from Herat province.
In the case that took place five years ago, he was accused of killing a man and stealing the victim’s motorcycle and mobile phone.
Recently, the Taliban publicly flogged dozens of men and women for committing “moral crimes.”
The executions took place in the provinces of Logar, Laghman, Bamiyan, Ghazni and Takhar. The women were charged with “theft, immoral behavior and running away from home”.
The Taliban no longer tries to cover up public executions. Instead, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s spiritual leader, has ordered that Islamic sharia law be strictly observed throughout the country.
Rina Amiri, the US special envoy for Afghan women, wrote on Twitter that the spate of executions by the Taliban was “not only aberrant, but a dangerous signal of how much the Taliban are encouraged to show the world who are adopting the policies of the past.”
“Their efforts that previously failed and will now return to lead the whole country down a dangerous path,” he added.
An eyewitness to caned executions in Afghanistan told DW how Taliban officers called residents over loudspeakers to come and watch. They even asked shop owners to close down if they didn’t want to be whipped, he added.
The witness, who declined to be named, said the Taliban used special whips “made of leather and iron”. Those who were whipped suffered and wept, the story goes again.
Less world pressure
“The Taliban have not changed and after a year in power they have become more ruthless, more troubled and more demagogue,” political analyst Ahmad Saeedi, a former Afghan diplomat, told DW.
“The Taliban do not accept the principles of power and humanity, and do not care about the demands made by the international community,” he added.
Saeedi urged the West to “take responsibility for what is happening in Afghanistan today” as they have failed to force changes to the Taliban’s political practices.
Another political analyst, Tariq Farhadi, has appealed to the world not to expect anything from the Taliban. “This is what they learn in madrassas in Pakistan,” he said. “Now they want to implement it.” rzn/yf