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Four men accused of kidnapping a trader and his son were arrested and killed by Taliban security forces on Saturday, September 25 in Herat (west). A few hours later, their mutilated bodies were hung from cranes and displayed in plain sight, with loudspeakers inviting them to observe “the fate of criminals” under the new regime. An operation that has garnered some approval among a population worn out by insecurity, explains our Observer.
According to Afghan media, the four men kidnapped a trader and his son at 9.45 a.m., in front of his store in Khaja Kalla Square, in one of Herat’s busiest neighborhoods. But an hour later, they were arrested at a Taliban security force checkpoint and all four were killed. A member of the security forces was injured, and the two hostages are safe.
Afghans have spoken out against the savagery of the execution of these men and the exposure of their bodies to crowds, but many others have welcomed the action.
طالبان امروز با گروهی به قول خودشان اختطافچی درگیر شدند همهی اعضای گروه را کشتند و قول خودشان اختطافچی درگیر شدند همهی اعضای گروه را کشتند و جسدهایشان شنار دآر زده
واکنش مردم؟ به به و چه چه میزدند و راضی بودند.
افول انسانیت همینجاست.
– یوزف کا. (@ josefk1996) September 25, 2021
“The Taliban today killed a group of men accused of being hostage takers, and hanged their bodies in the streets. What was the reaction of the people? It’s the end of humanity here, ”said this user in a tweet.
Be careful, the images below may be shocking.
“People were taking selfies with the body”
Ata (pseudonym) is a young resident of Herat:
I had gone out to do some shopping. I saw trucks go by and heard someone talk about “criminals” and “lesson”. This is where I noticed bodies hanging from the backs of the trucks. It was a shock to me, I had never seen a dead body in my life. I’m young, I don’t remember the last Taliban government in the 1990s. What I saw was like seeing what my parents had always told me.
I went to Darb-e-Malek Square. There the crane had been fully deployed and people were chanting “Allahu Akbar”, there were hundreds of people gathered. On the exposed body was written on a piece of paper in Dari and Pashtun: “Here is the punishment for anyone who takes hostages.” In a loudspeaker, we could hear repeating: “These are criminals killed in an exchange of fire with soldiers from the Emirate (Islamic from Afghanistan, official name of Afghanistan since the takeover of the Taliban, editor’s note) and the soldiers freed the hostages unharmed. ”The exhibition lasted for a few hours.
Residents look at the body of a man hanged from a crane on September 25 in Herat. We hear cries of “Allahu Akbar” indicating approval in front of this scene.
People would take body selfies, or take videos or photos of the scene. I took a video too and shared it on social media. People do this all over the world, right? They take videos of their daily life and share them. In Paris, we show the Eiffel Tower, concerts and exhibitions … Well here, people my age show that, because it’s their life. That doesn’t mean that I support this kind of practice.
However, I know a lot of people who hate the Taliban but can’t stand the insecurity any longer, and support their way of dealing with these criminals. My dad, for example, when I showed him the videos, said, “They deserve it.” And yet he hates the Taliban.
“Hostage-taking is a full-time job here”
There are streets in Herat where you don’t dare to go when it’s dark. Even in the car, we pass quickly, because there are malicious people, who are armed. Hostage-taking is a full-time job here. Just last week, the Taliban freed a child from his captors. Assaults, beatings, carjacking are commonplace, but since the Taliban’s return, suddenly, there has been a noticeable drop in these practices. We hear less about this or that violence committed here and there.
The reason is simple: most of the policemen in Herat were corrupted by the criminals, and the honest policemen were afraid of the criminals. But the Taliban, at least for now, do not allow themselves to be corrupted, and I think they want to show that they are protecting the population and thus garner the support of the people, especially in Herat where they are not at all. popular.
I see the intellectuals, the journalists, the activists who criticize this exhibition of bodies, and I agree with them, but I believe that for someone like my father, what is important is that he can to run a business and lead a safe life.
The governor of Herat province, Mulawi Shir Ahmad Mujahid, told local media on September 25 that “the criminals had already been warned that they would be severely punished […]. We had their bodies paraded so that it would serve as a lesson to others. “The day before, the director of the prison administration had announced that the law in force in the 1990s would be back, including as penalties amputations and executions.
In mid-August, two bodies of men accused of hostage-taking were also exposed in a similar fashion on a road in Helmand province.