Callum Darragh, Public domain

Taliban’s revenge killings have not stopped, HRW says

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has warned that the Taliban’s revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former security forces and officials have not stopped and continue to rage.

“After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, its forces carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former police, army, and intelligence officers,” HRW’s associate director, Patricia Gossman said in a statement on Tuesday. “Two years later, such grave violations have not stopped.”

This comes after the recent report from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documenting 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.

The UN agency asserted that the Taliban has failed to enforce their “general amnesty” and its forces continue to carry out such revenge killings and enforced disappearances.

“Taliban authorities have attempted to dismiss these killings and disappearances as based on “personal enmity or revenge” and to downplay the numbers,” Gossman cited from the report. “While they claim to have held their personnel accountable for violations, they have not made public the results of any investigations or punishments.”

The Taliban called the UNAMA report “untrue and far from reality.”