The Taliban have been accused of killing 20 civilians in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, after the apparent extrajudicial murder of a man in uniform was filmed.
The Panjshir Valley was the last area to resist the Taliban when it came to power last month, and it is where anti-Taliban opposition forces briefly rallied before being invaded.
The BBC described a filmed incident showing a man wearing military gear surrounded by Taliban fighters who passers-by were said to be a civilian. Amid the sound of gunfire, the man is seen collapsing to the ground.
According to the report, the BBC said it had heard of 20 similar incidents involving civilians in the area after the Taliban took power.
One of the victims was a shopkeeper and father of two, Abdul Sami, who sources said refused to flee during the Taliban’s advance. Arrested and charged with selling SIM cards to anti-Taliban opposition fighters, his body was later dumped near his home.
The demand emerged as a senior Afghan diplomat in the former government on Tuesday described a deteriorating human rights situation in his country, where he said women’s rights were disappearing under the Taliban.
“The Afghan people need action more than ever,” Ambassador Nasir Ahmad Andisha told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, calling on the Council to create a fact-finding mission to monitor the actions Taliban in the country.
The reports follow well-documented cases of other retaliatory killings committed by the outright Islamist group both during their lightning advance across the country and in the aftermath of power seizure.
In August, Amnesty International detailed the massacre of nine men of the Hazara ethnic group after Taliban fighters took control of the Afghan province of Ghazni in July.
Witnesses gave poignant accounts of the killings that took place between July 4 and 6 in the village of Mundarakht, in the district of Malistan, including how three people were tortured to death, including a man who was strangled with his own scarf.
On Monday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, described “credible allegations of retaliatory killings of a number of former staff of the ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) and reports of officials who worked for previous administrations and of members of their families being arbitrarily detained ”.
“In some cases the officials were released, and in others they were found dead. “
She also cited “multiple” allegations that the Taliban raided house to house looking for previous government officials and “people who cooperated with US security forces and companies.”
Concerns over Taliban violations of their own human rights promises come as Qatar on Tuesday warned that it would not take responsibility for Kabul airport without “clear” agreements with all parties concerned , including the Taliban, on its operations.
Doha has become a key intermediary in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US forces last month, helping to evacuate thousands of foreigners and Afghans, engaging the new Taliban leadership and supporting operations at Kabul airport.
“We have to make sure everything is dealt with very clearly otherwise… we are not able to take responsibility for the airport (if) all these things are not dealt with,” Qatar’s foreign minister said, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, at a press briefing.
“For the moment, the status is still [under] negotiation.”
Since the withdrawal of the United States, Qatar Airways planes have made several trips to Kabul, carrying aid and representatives from Doha and carrying foreign passport holders.
The two-decade US intervention in Afghanistan ended with the hasty airlift of more than 120,000 people from Kabul when the Taliban returned to power.
The United States withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan on August 30, ending its longest war just before the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that sparked its invasion.