Taliban members in Afghanistan have summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers since the fall of Kabul on August 15, despite a declared amnesty, Human Rights Watch said in a recent report.
In a joint statement, signed as of December 15, the United States, 27 other nations, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, expressed deep concern over these abuses documented by Human Rights Watch and others.
The Human Rights Watch report in particular documents the killing or disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces who had surrendered to or were apprehended by Taliban forces between August 15 and October 31. Human Rights Watch gathered information on more than 100 killings from Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces alone.
The Taliban have been able to access government employment records, using them to identify people for arrest and execution. According to Human Rights Watch in Kandahar city in late September, Taliban forces went to the home of Baz Muhammad, who had been employed by the former state intelligence agency and arrested him. Relatives later found his body.
“The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing former Afghan security force members,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account, and compensate the victims’ families.”
The joint statement underlined that “the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty. We call on the Taliban to effectively enforce the amnesty for former members of the Afghan security forces and former government officials to ensure that it is upheld across the country and throughout their ranks.”
“Reported cases must be investigated promptly and in a transparent manner, those responsible must be held accountable, and these steps must be clearly publicized as an immediate deterrent to further killings and disappearances,” declared the joint statement.
“We will continue to measure the Taliban by their actions.”