Taliban rejects UN report detailing human rights abuses and killings of former military officials

The Taliban has called the recent UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report “untrue” that documented hundreds of cases of human rights abuses against the former military and officials during the group’s two years rule.

“The recent UN representative report accusing Taliban forces of killing or torturing 800 members of former security forces and government officials is not true and far from reality,” Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban’s chief spokesperson, said on X hours after the report was released Tuesday.

“Some organizations within the UN are spreading propaganda which indeed, damage their credibility.” He added.

The UNAMA report found at least 800 cases of human rights abuses—including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and torture and ill-treatment—against the former army, police, and intelligence forces between August 15, 2021, and June 2023.

Of these, the report highlighted 218 cases of extrajudicial killings of former security forces and ex-officials, more than 424 cases of arbitrary arrests and detentions, and the remaining were reported as instances of torture, enforced disappearances, and other abuse.

Although Mujahid acknowledged limited cases of revenge killings, he attributed them to “personal and unknown” reasons, adding that the Taliban’s “general amnesty” is being implemented countrywide.

But the UNAMA report showed that Taliban forces continue to carry out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former officials and military personnel, indicating that the Taliban has failed to enforce their “general amnesty.”

The report also warned that these extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and other abuses have not stopped and continue to take toll through 2023.

The UNAMA head, Roza Otunbayeva, stated that the Taliban authorities “must demonstrate a genuine commitment to the general amnesty to ensure real prospects for justice, reconciliation, and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights chief, Volker Türk, urged the Taliban authorities to “carefully consider the findings of this report and to uphold their obligations under international human rights law by preventing further violations and holding perpetrators to account.”