Over 100 former Afghan security forces killed or missing according to new report

by mcardinal

Chris Lieberman, FISM News

 

Members of the Taliban have killed or forced the disappearance of over 100 former Afghan security forces since the extremist organization took over Afghanistan in August, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The report, titled, “‘No Forgiveness for People Like You,’ Executions and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan under the Taliban,” documents the summary execution and enforced disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan military and police force in the Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces of the country in the three months since the Taliban takeover. HRW conducted 67 interviews for the report and found additional evidence of at least 100 executions and disappearances in those four provinces alone.

After taking control of the country, the Taliban had promised amnesty for all members of the former government or military. However, the Taliban has not lived up to its promise, according to Human Rights Watch’s Associate Asia Director Patricia Gossman, who contributed to the report:

The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing former Afghan security force members. The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account, and compensate the victims’ families.

After the takeover, the Taliban instructed former security forces to register with the Taliban and surrender their weapons to receive amnesty letters. However, the report shows how the Taliban have used these registrations to locate and eliminate targets. Meanwhile, the Taliban have also sought out and punished those who fail to register.

The report details many of the tactics the Taliban have used to hunt down their enemies. These include detaining victims during nighttime raids under the pretense of collecting unsurrendered weapons, as well as threatening and intimidating family members to give up the whereabouts of their loved ones.

In an official statement responding to these allegations, the Taliban claimed that not all of HRW’s findings were accurate. They said, “Some cases of chasing or detention of some people you mentioned in your report are not based on these people’s past deeds, but they are engaged in new criminal activities. Our intelligence information about these figures show that they try to create problems and plots against the new administration.”

The Taliban leadership in Kabul has also tried to distance itself from the executions and disappearances, arguing that these incidents are isolated offenses committed by rogue members. They told HRW that they have removed 755 from their ranks who had committed these crimes.

Yet, according to the report, “Increasing evidence suggests that summary executions and disappearances, among other abuses, are being carried out by senior Taliban leadership at the district or provincial level.”

In response to the report, Gossman said:

The Taliban’s unsupported claims that they will act to prevent abuses and hold abusers to account appears, so far, to be nothing more than a public relations stunt. The lack of accountability makes clear the need for continued UN scrutiny of Afghanistan’s human rights situation, including robust monitoring, investigations, and public reporting.

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