The Taliban forces have killed or disappeared more than 100 former members of the security forces, requiring them to register to receive papers supposed to ensure their safety, but in reality serve as a death warrant for them, according to a report recently released by Human. Rights Watch.
HRW based its report on interviews with Afghans from four provinces across the country. The organization said it interviewed 40 people in person and nearly 30 by phone. The report blamed the Taliban for failing to live up to their end of the bargain when they said those people would not be harmed.
“The amnesty promised by the Taliban leadership did not prevent local commanders from summarily executing or eliminating former members of the Afghan security forces,” said Patricia Gossman, HRW deputy director for Asia, according to a press release. “The Taliban has a responsibility to prevent further killings, to hold those responsible to account and to compensate the families of the victims.
The 25-page report paints a grim picture of life under the Taliban. These former security officials who sign these false protection papers are often detained a few days after their registration. Their bodies are often collected by family members or by people in their community. Those who go missing are often taken away in nighttime raids, according to the report, citing a civil society activist in Helmand. Families are not allowed to request their location.
A Taliban spokesperson did not immediately respond to a Fox News message. Inamullah Samangani, another spokesperson, told Axios the group was “fully committed to the amnesty” and blamed rogue fighters for the killings.
After the chaotic fall of Kabul in August, the Taliban made advances to the international community that they would take a more pragmatic and moderate approach to governance in the hope that they would not be alienated by the international community.
Hasan Akhund, the former acting foreign minister, went so far as to urge Afghans who worked with the United States and who had fled to return to the country. He ensured their safety on their return.
“The stage of bloodshed, murder and contempt for Afghans is over, and we have paid dearly for it,” he said in September. Critics at the time said his comments ringed hollow because the Taliban had just appointed the leader of the terrorist group known as the Haqqani Network as their acting interior minister. He retained the post and is considered one of the most influential leaders in the group.
Besides the threat from the Taliban, the UN has sounded the alarm over a food crisis in the country, with 22% of the 38 million population already close to starvation and 36% facing acute food insecurity – mainly because people cannot afford the food.
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The economy was already struggling under the previous government backed by the United States, which often could not pay its employees. The situation was made worse by the coronavirus pandemic and a punitive drought that pushed up food prices. Already in 2020, almost half of the Afghan population was living in poverty.
The Associated Press contributed to this report