Status: 11/30/2021 2:07 p.m.
When they came to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban announced an amnesty. Still, they retaliated, Human Rights Watch reports. More than 100 ex-security forces were killed or disappeared.
Taliban militants have killed or disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officials since they came to power in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said. In its report, the human rights organization pointed to continued reprisals against the armed forces of the overthrown government – despite an announced amnesty.
Lists compiled with people
Members of the Taliban targeted the former Afghan security forces who surrendered and received guarantees of their security using employment records from the overthrown government, the report said.
In some cases, local Taliban commanders have compiled lists of people to be targeted. “The pattern of killings has sown terror across Afghanistan,” it said. No one connected to the previous government can be sure that they have escaped the threat of retaliation.
Testimony from witnesses and Taliban officials
The killings or the forced “disappearance” of 47 former members of the army in four provinces had been documented between August 15 and the end of October – through interviews with witnesses, relatives, representatives of the former government and Taliban representatives. The investigations also suggested that there were killings or disappearances in at least 53 other cases, the human rights organization said. The investigation therefore concentrated on the four provinces of Gasni, Helmand, Kandahar and Kunduz. “But the cases reflect a broader pattern of abuse,” it said.
Taliban forces are also targeting people who they believe are supporting the “Islamic State” in Nangarhar Province, a center of IS attacks. An eight-hour gun battle broke out in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, when Taliban fighters attacked an alleged hiding place of IS fighters.
Taliban deny retaliation
The Taliban leadership has repeatedly stated that employees of the previous government, including members of the armed forces, have nothing to fear from them. Former army personnel said they had been instructed to surrender their weapons. In return, they would have received documents attesting to their task and assuring them security.
The head of government of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Achund, denied in a public address on Saturday that there would be retaliatory measures. When the Taliban seized power, they announced an “amnesty for all”. Facing retaliation, he said, “Was there any example of this?” There is no problem for anyone, he said. But if a former member of the army “continues his bad deed (…) then he will be punished on the basis of his crime.”
Appeal to the Taliban
It is up to the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold the culprits accountable and compensate the families of the victims, said Patricia Gossman, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. The Taliban’s unsupported claims that “they are acting to prevent abuse and bring perpetrators to justice seem to be nothing more than a public relations gag,” said Gossman.
The Taliban took power on August 15th. Since then, the country’s economy has collapsed and lethal violence by the IS terrorist group has increased.
Human Rights Watch – Taliban kill former Afghan security forces
Peter Mücke, ARD New York, 11/30/2021 3:58 p.m.