Over 200 former Afghan officials and security forces have lost their lives since the Taliban seized control, as per a recent UN report. The prime targets have been ex-military, police, and intelligence personnel. Between August 15, 2021, and June 2023, UNAMA noted around 800 violations against them.
During the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops, the Taliban swiftly advanced across Afghanistan. The Afghan forces, trained and supported by the U.S., crumbled, and former President Ashraf Ghani fled. Detained individuals were often swiftly killed by the Taliban security forces, either in custody or at undisclosed locations.
The report, alongside which UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk released a statement, paints a grim picture of how individuals associated with the former government were treated. This betrayal of trust raises concerns about upholding human rights laws. Turk called upon the Taliban to prevent further violations and hold perpetrators accountable.
Since taking control, the Taliban have faced minimal opposition and managed to avert internal conflicts. The Afghan foreign ministry led by the Taliban rejected the report, claiming ignorance about any rights violations by their officials.
The report highlighted the vulnerability of ex-Afghan soldiers, followed by police and intelligence officers, to rights abuses. Violations spanned all provinces, with the highest numbers in Kabul, Kandahar, and Balkh. Most violations occurred in the first four months after the takeover, with nearly half of extrajudicial killings recorded during this period. However, rights abuses continued, recording 70 extrajudicial killings in 2022.
UNAMA documented 33 violations against former police officers in Kandahar, a significant portion of nationwide abuses. Instances of forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture, and ill-treatment were noted. Despite the Taliban’s initial promise of amnesty, these were not fulfilled, which could impact Afghanistan’s future stability.
While the Taliban announced a general amnesty in 2021, it wasn’t fully upheld. Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, urged the Taliban to genuinely commit to the amnesty for justice, reconciliation, and lasting peace. The Taliban, contrary to initial promises, enforced strict rules, recalling their earlier rule in the late 1990s.
In conclusion, the UN report sheds light on the dire situation for former Afghan officials and security forces under the Taliban’s rule. The violations of human rights have raised concerns, urging the Taliban to honor their commitments and ensure stability and peace in the country.