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Doctor Arrested and Tortured by Taliban Dies in Badakhshan

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Local sources in northeastern Badakhshan province report that Dr. Mohammad Sarwar, known as Dr. Sardar, who was arrested and tortured twice by the Taliban, has passed away.

Speaking with KabulNow today, local sources attributed the doctor’s death to a heart attack. However, they noted that he had been suffering from back pain and heart disease following severe torture by the Taliban.

Sources said that Dr. Sardar worked at the 209 Shaheen Corp military hospital in northern Balkh province and the Sardar Mohammad Dawood Khan military hospital in Kabul city in 2013 and 2014. Additionally, he established a private clinic in Badakhshan’s Keshm district to offer health services to the local community.

According to local sources, the Taliban arrested and tortured the doctor twice in the last two and a half years. In February 2022, they first tied him to a tree in front of local people and beat him for half an hour, accusing him of possessing weapons.

Sources added that a few months later, in April 2022, Taliban intelligence arrested Dr. Sardar for the second time, accusing him of collaborating with the National Resistance Front (NRF), an armed group opposing the Taliban, and transferred him to Faizabad city in Badakhshan.

According to Dr. Sardar’s relatives, the Taliban subjected him to severe torture, including beatings with electric shocks, for a month while he was in prison.

The doctor, according to sources, was released after a month from the Taliban prison in Badakhshan after his relatives provided a guarantee. However, due to injuries caused by the torture, he had been suffering from back pain, high blood pressure, and heart disease recently.

He passed away due to a heart attack while working in his clinic on Sunday, May 26.

The local Taliban authorities in Badakhshan have said that they are investigating the incident with the family of the deceased Dr. Sardar.

This incident marks the latest in a series of Taliban crackdowns on local civilians and former security force members. In the past almost three years, the group has detained, tortured, or even killed numerous civilians across the country, often accusing them of collaborating with armed anti-Taliban groups or possession of weapons.

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the Taliban of gross human rights violations, expressing concerns that arbitrary detention, torture, revenge killings, and enforced disappearances of civilians and former security forces have not ceased despite the regime’s “general amnesty” announcement.