Judge in Taliban controlled Afghanistan says gay men will be stoned to death or crushed by a wall

A Taliban judge has said severe punishments will be handed out to gay men in parts of Afghanistan controlled by the Islamist group.

The Afghanistan flag flies in the foreground, a fortress can be seen in the background

In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Taliban judge Gul Rahim claimed gay men in Afghanistan who have sex with men would be executed under the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law.

In the interview Rahim openly talked about the latest cases that he had presided over, stating that he had ordered a man’s hand to be chopped off for breaking into a house and stealing a gold ring. 

Afghanistan is one of 71 countries where same-sex sexual activities are illegal, and being a gay man is punishable with a maximum penalty of death. 

The Taliban judge said that for gay men in Afghanistan “there can only be two punishments: either stoning, or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 metres high.”

According to Bild, Rahim kept a straight face as he talked about the gruesome death sentence for homosexuals.

When he was asked about whether women are allowed to leave their homes, he replied “yes, if they have permission.” Women need permission from a man (either their husband or father) to go shopping, feed the animals, or to go to the doctor.

The Taliban are a fundamentalist Islamist militia that was founded in 1994. From 1996 until 2001 they held power over roughly 66% of Afghanistan, where they enforced a strict version of Sharia law. Taliban officials said last week that they have gained 85% control of Afghan territory.

BBC reports from Afghanistan say ongoing fighting means that the situation on the ground is fluid and it is hard to determine which areas are now under Sharia law, but it is clear the Taliban are making significant gains against the government.

With the US now fearing Kabul could fall within months, Rahim seemed confident of victory. “If the government in Kabul introduces our Islamic Sharia, we will not attack them further.”  

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