There was considerable alarm – even outrage – when Joe Biden stranded hundreds or even thousands of Afghans who had helped the U.S. during its occupation of Afghanistan, or had helped run the U.S.-aided government, behind what appeared to be enemy lines.
That abandonment happened when Biden abruptly ordered Americans out of the country. He left behind billions of dollars of American war machinery, hundreds of Americans and thousands of those Afghans who were expected to be targeted by the Taliban terrorists who took over the country.
As expected, they are now being sought, and caught, by the Taliban.
Human Rights Watch reports, “Taliban forces in Afghanistan have summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers in just four provinces since taking over the country on August 15, 2021, despite a proclaimed amnesty.”
The organization said in its report, “‘No Forgiveness for People Like You,’ Executions and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan under the Taliban,” that at least 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces, “military personnel, police, intelligence service members, and militia” who were found by the Taliban between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31, are confirmed as dead – or else have simply banished.
The organization said it “gathered credible information on more than 100 killings from Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces alone.”
“The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing former Afghan security force members,” explained Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account, and compensate the victims’ families.”
HRW talked with 40 people in the four provinces and another 27 by telephone, mostly witnesses, relatives and friends of victims, former government officials, journalists, healthcare workers, and Taliban members, the group said.
It quoted even one Taliban commander who charged that those responsible for atrocities “cannot be forgiven.”
The organization said while Taliban leaders told those in surrendering security forces to register to get a letter assuring their safety, the actual rank and file Taliban members “used these screenings to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear people within days after they register, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find.”
The terrorists also accessed employment records that the failed government of Afghanistan failed to protect or destroy, “using them to identify people for arrest and execution,” the report said.
“In just one example, in Kandahar city in late September, Taliban forces went to the home of Baz Muhammad, who had been employed by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the former state intelligence agency, and arrested him. Relatives later found his body,” HRW reported.
It continued by revealing a civil society activist from Helmand province reported, “Taliban night raids are terrifying. They are conducted on the pretext of disarming ex-security forces who have not surrendered weapons. Those that ‘disappear’ are [victims] of night raids. The family can’t report or confirm. The families can’t even ask where [the person has been taken].”
HRW reported, “The Taliban’s intelligence department in Helmand detained Abdul Raziq, a former provincial military officer, after he had surrendered in late August. Since then, his family has been unable to find out where he is being held, or if he is still alive.”
The report explained, “The executions and disappearances have generated fear among former government officials and others who might have believed that the Taliban takeover would bring an end to the revenge attacks that had been characteristic of Afghanistan’s long armed conflict.”
Other individuals have been targeted because of their alleged links to Islamic State of Khorasan Province, because of their Salafist views, or tribal affiliations, the report confirmed.
The Taliban did announce in the fall a commission to investigate crimes of corruption and theft, but it has not confirmed any investigations into any reported killings, the report said.
“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,” Gossman said in the report. “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.”
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