Taliban Torture and Kill Ethnic Minorities and Former Security Forces: Amnesty International

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Kabul – Amnesty International says in a new report that ethnic and religious minorities, former government security forces, and people believed to be supporters of the government in retaliatory attacks have been tortured and killed since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.

The agency said in a report today Wednesday, December 15, that it had conducted a field investigation in Kabul from October 1st to October 15th and interviewed the families of victims and witnesses by telephone.

Amnesty International has interviewed 65 people face to face and 36 others by telephone.

The Amnesty cited Taliban attacks on Panjshir and the torture and killing of residents in the province as part of their retaliatory actions, adding that on September 6, Taliban forces attacked the Bazarak district in this province.

According to the report, the Taliban arrested about 20 people and imprisoned them in a pigeon’s nest after a brief battle.

In the meantime, these individuals have been tortured since their arrest and have been repeatedly threatened with death in addition to deprivation of food, water, and health services, according to Amnesty International.

“A Talib had taken a knife and said, “I want to behead the wounded because they are infidels and Jews,” a Taliban detainee told the agency.

Moreover, another stated that the Taliban kept the detainees underground, and when asked to treat the wounded, the Taliban responded by letting them die.

There was no food or water in the Taliban detention center and that no medical care was provided for the injured, he told the agency.

The Taliban treated the prisoners cruelly and inhumanely, the interviewer added.

The report states that later in the day, the Taliban also attacked the village of Ormaz, searching for former government employees.

According to the report, Taliban forces executed about six people, all of them military personnel, within 24 hours.

However, witnesses indicated that a number of those executed by the Taliban were members of the national security forces in the previous government, but had stayed home since the fall and had not taken part in the National Resistance Front.

Amnesty International had previously documented cases in which the Taliban killed Hazaras in Daikundi and Ghazni. However, the organization emphasized that the full scale of the killings was still unknown across the country, as the Taliban had cut off mobile services or severely restricted internet access in many rural areas.

The share of the US and former Afghan troops in civilian casualties

In addition to the Taliban’s retaliatory actions, the report documents cases showing that former security forces and US forces were responsible for the deaths of civilians before the fall of Ashraf Ghani’s government.

Amnesty International has documented at least four attacks, three of which were most likely carried out by US forces and one by the Afghan Air Force in recent years.

According to the report, 28 civilians, including 15 men, five women, and eight children, were killed and six others were injured in the attacks.

The report also documents and uses US forces’ use of mother bombs.

Dozens of civilians have been killed and injured in the attacks, according to Amnesty International.

The report states that in a single US drone strike in Kabul, ten members of a family, all of them civilians, were killed.

Likewise, the report has reminded of ground attacks of previous government forces.

Furthermore, dozens of people have been killed and wounded in ground fighting and negligence by former government forces, according to the agency.

Amnesty International: Taliban, US set up a mechanism for victims to seek compensation

However, Amnesty International has called on the Taliban and the US government to live up to their international obligations and to provide clear and robust mechanisms for civilians to seek compensation for injuries sustained during the conflict.

Amnesty International’s director-general, Agnes Kalamar, has said that Taliban officials still have the same legal obligations as the former government to provide compensation and must take all civilian issues seriously.

He stressed that victims and their families should be compensated and that all suspects should be prosecuted in fair trials in ordinary civilian courts without resorting to the death penalty.

International agencies had insisted that the Taliban would detain and assassinate former security forces contrary to their commitment after taking power.

Meanwhile, the Taliban interim government, which has not yet responded to Amnesty International’s report, has previously denied the allegations