With the Taliban making rapid advancements in Afghanistan after the US troops quietly abandoned the war-torn region, it is fast imposing its old and set of religious rules.
The Taliban insists that they will protect human rights particularly those of women but only according to “Islamic values”. The only condition- not following them would lead to unfathomable punishment.
Here are the set of rules imposed by the Taliban in the newly seized areas of Afghanistan.
Women cannot venture out alone
Shortly after capturing a district in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban issued the first set of orders in the form of a letter to the local imam.
Sefatullah, 25, a resident of Kalafgan district narrated, “It said women can’t go to the bazaar without a male companion, and men should not shave their beards,” said.
Similar orders were issued in Shir Khan Bandar, a northern customs post that connected the country to Tajikistan over a US-funded bridge that spanned the Panj river.
Sajeda, a woman who works in a local factory, in an interview to AFP said, “After Shir Khan Bandar fell, the Taliban ordered women not to step out of their homes.”
“There were many women and young girls doing embroidery, tailoring and shoe-making […] The Taliban’s order has now terrified us,” she added.
Just a few days of Taliban rule and Sajeda fled south to the nearby city of Kunduz.
“We will never be able to work in areas under the Taliban,” she said, “So, we left,” justifying her decision.
‘Marry your daughters to the Taliban’
As per a letter issued in the name of the Taliban’s cultural commission, villagers have been ordered to marry off their daughters and widows to the movement’s foot soldiers.
“All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters,” read the letter.
‘No smoking and shaving’
The terrorists have also issued a ban on smoking, and have warned that anybody violating the rules “will be seriously dealt with”, as per the locals.
Nazir Mohammad, 32, told the AFP that everybody has been ordered to wear a turban and no man is allowed to shave.
‘Nobody can leave home at night’
Validating the alleged social media rumours, in Yawan district on the Tajikistan border, the Taliban gathered residents at a local mosque after taking over.
“Their commanders told us that nobody is allowed to leave home at night,” confirmed Mohammad.
‘No wearing red and green’ and ‘no school for girls’
Mohammad further informed that people have been forbidden from wearing certain colours. “And no person — especially the youths — can wear red and green clothes,” he said, referring to the colours of the Afghan flag.
Additionally, “Girls attending schools beyond sixth grade were barred from classes,” the report said.
Taliban spokesperson denies claims
Wanting to maintain the image, Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson of the Taliban said, “They are rumours spread using fabricated papers.”
“These are baseless claims,” he added.
Reign of Taliban
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan according to a hardline and radicalized interpretation of the Holy Quran from 1996 to 2001
Women were ordered to stay indoors unless accompanied by a male, girls were banned from school, and those found guilty of crimes such as adultery were stoned to death in the land ruled by the Taliban.
While men relatively had more freedom, they were even previously ordered not to shave, would be beaten if they didn’t attend prayers, and were told to only wear traditional clothing.
Taliban also prohibits watching television, imposes restrictions on smartphones or ban them. The move is to limit residents’ access to information and their ability to communicate or educate themselves.
Talking to the opposite gender or dressing “immodestly” attracts harsh punishments like lashing in the Taliban courts. Residents who criticize Taliban actions are beaten and even executed in some cases.