As the Taliban solidifies its grip on power in Afghanistan, disturbing photos have surfaced showing how they intend to handle issues of crime and justice.
According to Bilal Sarwary, a preeminent Afghan journalist to whom these images were sent last week, the Taliban accused two men in Herat of theft whose "faces were colored with black color — to embarrass them."
Photos show the unidentified pair surrounded by a mob of what appear to be Taliban fighters, some punching the air in jubilant celebration as others brandished their assault rifles. Footage of the parade shows a large crowd marching alongside the alleged thieves, tugging on nooses around their necks.
The accused men's faces were both completely blackened in notorious blackface with what appears to be a tar-like substance. The nooses tight around the neck were pulled by at least one in the mob, the images show.
"This was after the Friday prayers inside Herat city," Sarwary also tweeted last week along with video of the parade showing dozens of supposed Taliban supporters marching alongside the accused thieves.
"Taliban style Justice often means hands of thieves are chopped off," the journalist noted. The sickening display came as Herat, a city of about 600,000 residents near the border with Iran, was left like "ghost town," as described by provincial council member Ghulam Habib Hashimi. Families have either left or are hiding inside.
In Canada, the Trudeau government is evaluating the situation as it evolves in Afghanistan, with Global Affairs Minister Marc Garneau indicating that they will take a "wait and see approach" before decided whether or not to recognize the Taliban government.