Photo: Taliban's Ministry of Defense

UNAMA: Over 200 former military and officials killed since Taliban takeover

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has in a new report said that more than 200 former security forces and ex-officials have been killed since the Taliban takeover two years ago.

The report released Tuesday documented 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.

The UN agency warns 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.”

UNAMA has documented at least 218 extrajudicial killings of former government officials and members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) during the period.

Almost half of the killings and enforced disappearances occurred in the four months following the Taliban seizure of power, resulting in at least 148 extrajudicial killings of former ANDSF members across all 34 provinces, mainly in Kabul, Kandahar, and Balkh provinces.

At least 33 human rights violations were documented against former police members in Kandahar, accounting for over one-quarter of all human rights violations against former police personnel.

In Khost, UNAMA has documented at least 11 instances of human rights violations carried out against former security forces.

In 2022, UNAMA documented another 70 extrajudicial killings, saying that it has raged throughout 2023.

Additionally, UNAMA has documented at least 14 cases of enforced disappearance of former government officials and ANDSF members, including the case of Alia Azizi, the former head of the Women’s Prison in Herat, who disappeared in October 2021 after Taliban authorities told her to return to her job, and remains missing since.

UNAMA has also documented more than 424 arbitrary arrests and detentions of former government officials and ANDSF members since August 2021. The report highlights several cases in which those detained were held incommunicado and on unknown charges, some even led to extrajudicial killings.

More than 144 instances of torture and ill-treatment of former government officials and ANDSF members by Taliban forces have also been documented which includes beatings with pipes, cables, verbal threats, and abuse.

“The de facto authorities must demonstrate a genuine commitment to the general amnesty. This is a crucial step in ensuring real prospects for justice, reconciliation, and lasting peace in Afghanistan.” UNAMA head, Roza Otunbayeva, said.

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.”