Amnesty International: Taliban committed extensive systematic extrajudicial executions

Amnesty International’s report on “Human Rights in Afghanistan” released on Wednesday revealing widespread extrajudicial killings of people linked to the previous government, armed groups, and those who do not adhere to Taliban’s restrictions, during the group’s rule in Afghanistan.

According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), there were at least 237 extrajudicial executions between August 15, 2021, and June 15, 2022. By December, another 69 extrajudicial killings of the anti-Taliban National Resistance Front (NRF) members have been reported. Of these extrajudicial killings, 48 of them were executed between 12 and 14 September, 2022, in Panjshir province.

“In September, fresh videos and pictures of extrajudicial killings by the Taliban of people associated with the NRF in Panjshir province appeared on social media. The attacks clearly constituted a war crime. The Taliban Ministry of Defense announced an investigation into the incident, but no findings were made public.” The organization stated in the report.

Amnesty International further said “In one incident in Ghor province on 26 June, the Taliban attacked the home of a man associated with the former government, killing six Shia Hazaras: four men, a woman and a girl. Three of the men killed were members of the former anti-Taliban groups known as the People’s Uprising. Following the extrajudicial killings, the Taliban claimed that they were rebels, despite the fact that all those killed were civilians.”

The organization wrote in its report that there is widespread impunity for gross human rights violations under the Taliban regime, including for extrajudicial executions, with no proper or transparent investigations being conducted.

The Taliban officials have denied such violations had occurred and rejected the findings of NGOs including Amnesty International.

On the situation of Media and Journalists under the Taliban rule, the organization said “The space for free media shrank drastically as the Taliban created an increasingly intimidating environment, forcing many media outlets to close. Journalists faced growing restrictions including arbitrary arrest, unlawful detentions and torture in response to reporting that criticized the Taliban, leading many to self-censor.”

The report also highlights the exponential increase in restrictions on women’s rights, freedom of media, and expression in Afghanistan, with peaceful protestors facing arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearance. The report notes that institutions established to protect human rights are severely limited or closed.