Arrest, Torture and Killing of Former Military and Government Employees in Parwan Province

Report by Etilaatroz.

Taliban are committing atrocities over beard and turban-like Hafizullah Amin.

After the return of the Taliban government, the leader of this group, in a decree, announced a general amnesty. But apparently, this decree only included high-ranking officials of the previous government and a number of politicians who remained in Afghanistan. Over the past year, many reports about illegal arrests and drumhead court-martial of security forces and former government employees have been published across the country.

The world community and international institutions such as the United Nations Security Council, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the European Union have always expressed their concerns about the drumhead court-martial of former security forces and human rights violations by the Taliban and accused this group for not adhering to international laws. But the Taliban have always denied these accusations.

Although the mentioned cases are going on across the country every day, the reporter of Etilaatroz in Parwan province recently in research discovered that more than 150 soldiers and employees of the previous government were arrested, tortured, or killed by the Taliban in the past year in this province. 

Etilaatroz has discovered that most of the detainees are former soldiers, and the Taliban are trying to get weapons by arresting them. In some cases, the local Taliban are trying to solve their own personal problems by arresting and torturing former soldiers. We could not get the exact statistics of the people who are still in the custody of the Taliban, but we talked to their families. 

Repeating the tragedy of Hafizullah Amin’s government

Dr. Lal Mohammad Salangi, 40 years old, father of four children, is a resident of Pajeh village in Salang district and the manager of a 20-bed hospital in this district. Dr. Lal Mohammad’s relatives say that the Taliban intelligence arrested him in Charikar city, the center of Parwan province, on the 17th of November of last year, and there is still no news about him. 

We talked to Hamid (pseudonym), Dr. Lal Mohammad’s relative. He says that Dr. Lal Mohammad was not associated with any political-military movement, and it is not clear why the Taliban arrested him. Hamid says that Dr. Lal Mohammad’s family has not heard from him for the past 10 months, and his family’s psychological condition is getting worse every day. According to Hamid, Dr. Lal Mohammad has been suffering from severe liver disease, and his family members are afraid that he has died while being tortured by the Taliban.

“He has been suffering from liver disease. He could not get the treatment done in India, and he had gone to Turkey for treatment as well. I guess he has probably died while being tortured by the Taliban due to lack of access to medicine. I think he is injured a lot.”

The relatives of Dr. Lal Mohammad say that the Taliban kept him in prison for months without any crime, and if he is harmed, the Taliban should be held accountable to his family.

“Dr. Lal Mohammad’s parents, relatives, and brothers are not in a good state of mind in his grief. His family has not yet heard of his life and death, but if there is a clue as to his whereabouts and he is killed, the Taliban should be held accountable. “This government is worse than Hafizullah Amin’s government for the people of Parwan.”

Dr. Lal Mohammad Salangi, the manager of the 20-bed Salang hospital, has been in Taliban custody for 10 months and 10 days. His family is not hopeful  that he is still alive. Photo: Social Media

Detention and torture of former soldiers

Fazalulhaq Qarlaq was the administrative deputy of the police department of Sorkh Parsa district of Parwan province in the previous government. Behnoud (pseudonym), a relative of Fazlulhaq, in an interview with Etilaatroz newspaper, says when the Taliban took over the country, Fazlulhaq had handed over his weapon to Sorkh Parsa district and received a receipt of it. But about three months ago, the Taliban arrested him and demanded weapons.

According to Behnoud, the Taliban tortured Fazlulhaq to such an extent that he had to borrow money from his friends and relatives to buy weapons and hand them over to the Taliban official named Qari Zabih. Behnoud adds that about two weeks ago, the Taliban arrested Fazlulhaq again and severely tortured him. Behnoud says that the Taliban did not allow Fazlulhaq’s family members to visit him during this time.

“It’s been a week since [the Taliban] detained and tortured the poor man (Fazlulhaq) again, and during this time, not even one of his family members managed to see him for his illness condition. He is a common and poor person who could not escape the Taliban because of his family. He lives in his birthplace.”

Fazlulhaq is an example of dozens of former soldiers in Parwan province who were forced by the Taliban to provide them with weapons in exchange for their freedom.

Fazlulhaq, a former soldier, was arrested and tortured by the Taliban and forced to provide weapons to the Taliban by borrowing money from his friends. Photo: Social Media

A mother who went into a coma because of her child

The arrests of former military personnel by the Taliban have turned into a nightmare for families whose members served in the security-defense departments of the previous government.

Fawad, who was an officer in the previous army and served in Kandahar province, is another soldier who has been in Taliban custody for seventeen days. Fawad, a father of four children, is a resident of the Jabal al-Sarraj district of Parwan province. After the Taliban came to power again, he started a small footwear store in the small bazaar of Saidkhel district of Parwan province, and through this, he provided for his family’s expenses.

Parvez (pseudonym), who is a relative of Fawad, said while speaking with Etilaatroz newspaper that the Taliban arrested Fawad while he was going to his home and took him to the Intelligence Directorate of Parwan province. According to Parvez, the Taliban did not allow Fawad’s family to see him during this time.

Parvez adds that Fawad’s elderly mother, who suffers from heart disease, fell into a coma after her son’s arrest, and the doctors described her condition as alarming. What will happen to Fawad and how will his mother’s health improve in his absence are questions that are difficult to respond to.

Fawad, an army officer of the former Afghan government in Kandahar province, has been in Taliban custody for seventeen days. His mother, who is suffering from heart disease, has gone into a coma because of him. Photo: Social Media

Arresting More than 150 Soldiers and Former Government Employees

Reliable sources confirm to Etilaatroz newspaper that the Taliban have arrested more than 150 soldiers and employees of the former government in Parwan province in the past year. According to the sources, most of these arrests were made by the Taliban’s attack on homes belonging to military and government employees. Sources add that there is no news about the fate of most of the detainees, and their families have been unaware of their condition for months.

“During their rule, the Taliban have arrested and tortured more than 150 Parwani youths who worked with the security agencies or worked in the civil departments of the former government. These arrests are going on every day, and if it is not stopped, the Taliban’s decision is to arrest and imprison all the youths of Parwan province who worked with the security departments of the previous government.”

During their rule, the Taliban arrested and tortured more than 150 Parwani youths who worked with the security and civil departments of the previous government.

Torture to death

On 9 September 2022, Mahram Ali was arrested by the Taliban in the Khakriz area of ​​the Turkmen Valley of Parwan province. Mahram Ali was the commander of the local police in Ghorband Valley, and one day after his arrest, the Taliban handed over his body to his family.

Pictures of Mahram Ali’s body, alongside claims by sources, indicate that Mahram Ali died under severe torture carried out by the Taliban. Although the Taliban denied the killing, there is a lot of evidence indicating that Mahram Ali was arrested by the Taliban and tortured to death.

Mahram Ali’s corpse, the local police commander of the former government in Sorkh Parsa district of Parwan province. The Taliban arrested him alive and handed over his dead body to his family after a lot of torture. Photo: Social Media

The Taliban’s response

Hikmatullah Shamim, the spokesman for the Taliban governor in Parwan province, in a conversation with Etilaatroz newspaper, denies the arrests of soldiers and employees of the previous government; but he says that people accused of crimes by the Taliban, including former soldiers, will be arrested.

“The detention of former soldiers by the Islamic Emirate is a lie. Of course, those who are accused of a crime, even if they are members of the Taliban, will be arrested. But the Taliban have not arrested anyone for working in the previous government.” 

Since the return of the Taliban government, hundreds of cases of arrest and torture of former soldiers have been carried out by members of this group; however, the Taliban administration and the spokespersons of this group have always denied the illegal arrests and torture of former soldiers.

Originally posted on Etilaatroz.