When the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan, one of its founders and the primary enforcer of its strict interpretation of Islamic law predicted the hardline organization would resume executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.
Nooruddin Turabi rejected criticism over the Taliban's previous executions, which sometimes took place in front of stadium audiences, in an interview with The Associated Press, and warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan's new authorities.
"Everyone has criticized us for the stadium punishments, but we have never said anything about their laws and punishments," Turabi said in Kabul.
"No one is going to tell us what laws we should have. We shall adhere to Islam and base our rules on the Quran."
Afghans and the rest of the world have been watching to see if the Taliban will recreate its brutal reign of the late 1990s since they overran Kabul on August 15 and took control of the country. Turabi's remarks demonstrated how the group's leaders maintain a staunchly traditional, rigid mindset despite embracing technical advances such as video and cell phones.
During the Taliban's previous regime, Turabi, now in his early 60s, was justice minister and head of the so-called Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — effectively, the religious police.
The world condemned the Taliban's executions, which took place in Kabul's sports stadium or on the grounds of the vast Eid Gah mosque, which were frequently attended by hundreds of Afghan men at the time.
A single shot typically executed convicted murderers to the head by the victim's family, who had the option of receiving "blood money" and letting the perpetrator live. Amputation of a hand was the punishment for convicted thieves. A hand and a foot were severed for individuals convicted of highway robbery.
Trials and convictions were rarely open to the public, and the judiciary favored conservative clerics.
Turabi stated that judges, including women, would adjudicate disputes this time, but the Quran would remain the cornerstone of AfgAfghanistan'sws. He stated that the same penalties would be reinstated.
He said that cutting off hands was vital for security and that it had a deterrent effect. He said the Cabinet was considering whether to carry out public sanctions and would "de" Elop a policy."
I" recent days, Taliban fighters in Kabul have resurrected a punishment they used to deploy frequently in the past: public humiliating of men suspected of minor larceny.
Kabul men have been packed into the back of a pick-up truck, their wrists tied and paraded around to humiliate them on at least two occasions in the previous week. Their faces were painted to identify them as robbers in one case. Stale bread was hanged around their necks or crammed into their mouths in the other. It was unclear what their crimes were at the time.
Turabi limped slightly on his artificial limb, wearing a white turban and a thick, unkempt white beard. During 1980s combat with Soviet troops, he lost a leg and one eye.
He is in charge of jails under the new Taliban regime. A UN sanctions list names him among several Taliban leaders, including members of the all-male temporary Cabinet.
He was one of the TaliTaliban'st ruthless and unyielding enforcers during the previous regime. When the Taliban came to power in 1996, one of their first acts was to scream at a female journalist and demand she leaves a room full of men, then slap a man who refused.
Turabi was known for ripping music recordings from cars and putting them up in trees and signposts for hundreds of meters. His followers often beat men whose cropped beards, and he insisted that males wear turbans in all government buildings. TuraTurabi'sion of enforcers outlawed sports and compelled men to worship five times a day in the mosque.
Turabi spoke to a female journalist in an interview with the Associated Press this week.
He stated, "We "ave changed from the past."
The" Taliban, he claimed, will henceforth allow television, cellphones, photographs, and video "bec" use this is a necessity of the people, and we are serious about it."
He "claimed that the Taliban viewed the media as a means of disseminating their message. "Now" we know we can reach millions instead of just hundreds," he, "remarked. He went on to say that if punishments are made public, people may be allowed to film or photograph them to increase the deterrent effect.
The United States and its allies have been attempting to use the fear of isolation — and the resulting economic harm — to persuade the Taliban to soften their rule and give other factions, minorities, and women a voice in power.
On the other hand, Turabi ignored criticism of the former Taliban regime, claiming that it had brought stability to the country. In the late 1990s, he added, "we "ad complete safety in every part of the country."
Ev "n though many in Kabul express concern about their new Taliban rulers, others grudgingly admit that the capital has gotten safer in the last month. Before the Taliban took control of the country, gangs of robbers roamed the streets, and persistent criminality forced most people off the streets after nightfall.
"See" ng these people shamed in public is not a good thing, but it deters criminals because people see it and think to themselves, 'I d'n'don'tt that to be me,'" s'" d Amaan, a store owner in KabuKabul'sntown district.
He just wanted to be known by one name.
Another shopkeeper called it a violation of human rights but added that he was glad to operate his shop after dark.