Middle East/North Africa

More than 100 former members of Afghan security forces killed or missing: Human Rights Watch

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More than 100 former members of the Afghan security forces have been killed or gone missing since the Taliban takeover in August, a report from Human Rights Watch released Tuesday showed.

The report, titled “‘No Forgiveness for People Like You’: Executions and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan under the Taliban,” discovered more than 100 killings and at least 47 disappearances in just four provinces from Aug. 15 to Oct. 30.

The people include former members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), police, intelligence service members and militia.

Human Rights Watch says the dozens of killings and disappearances have been carried out by the Taliban despite its pledge not to seek revenge against former Afghan government or military members. 

Former military members were told by the Taliban to register for a letter that was supposed to guarantee their safety, but the registration has been used to target former militia who are then killed or disappeared, the report states.

Many former military members have been detained during night raids conducted by the Taliban that are supposedly meant to collect weapons a member didn’t surrender, according to the human rights group. However, it ends with relatives threatened and former officials dragged away, according to the report.

Human Rights Watch interviewed dozens of people when gathering its report, including witnesses, relatives and friends of victims, former government officials, journalists, health care workers and Taliban members.

A Taliban commander said those conducting the killings and disappearances “cannot be forgiven.” The Taliban responded to the human rights group in November saying those who committed the acts have been dismissed, but gave no evidence. 

“The Taliban’s unsupported claims that they will act to prevent abuses and hold abusers to account appears, so far, to be nothing more than a public relations stunt,” Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said. “The lack of accountability makes clear the need for continued UN scrutiny of Afghanistan’s human rights situation, including robust monitoring, investigations, and public reporting.”

Tags Taliban insurgency Taliban offensive War in Afghanistan

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