Photos have reportedly emerged of the Taliban parading men through the streets tarred in black and with nooses around their necks as fears grow the militants will reimpose brutal Sharia law.
The puritanical Islamic group first seized control of the country in 1994 led by former mujahideen commander Mohammad Omar.
The Taliban notoriously imposed strict punishments, including stoning suspected adulterers and carrying out public executions.
Women were barred from working, girls were banned from attending school. Men were forbidden from trimming their beards and women were forced to wear head-to-toe burkas.
Much of that changed when the US invaded in 2001, with women and ethnic minorities granted greater freedoms.
Now the Taliban is again on the verge of taking power again - having taken control of the presidential palace in Kabul.
There are concerns the Taliban will roll back some of the newly-won freedoms for Afghan citizens.
In a sign of things to come, a photo on social media showed the owner of a beauty salon painting over posters depicting women.
Iraqi-American activist Sarah Idan described it as a "new dark era for women".
Afghan journalist Bilal Sarway shared footage of men tarred in black with nooses around their necks. They were dragged through the streets by armed gunmen.
The images were dubbed "horrific" and "medieval".
The black make-up is considered a warning to offenders. Recidivists risk having a hand cut off.
The situation could be dire for LGBT individuals in the country. A Taliban judge pronounced last month that the penalty for homosexuality would be death under its rule.
"There are only two penalties for gays: Either stoning or he has to stand behind a wall that falls on him. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 metres high," the judge told German newspaper Bild.
The Taliban is expected to announce the restoration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan imminently.
It has pledged there will be a peaceful transfer of power and promised its fighters would not enter people's homes or interfere with businesses.
The Taliban has also reportedly offered an "amnesty" to people who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.
There have been reports however, of brutal tactics in areas the Taliban has seized in recent days including revenge killings.