Over 200 former Afghan military, officials killed since Taliban takeover: UNAMA

UNAMA Afghanistan

WEB DESK, (Reuters): More than 200 members of Afghanistan’s former military, law enforcement and government have been killed since the Taliban took over, the U.N. mission in Afghanistan said on Tuesday, despite a “general amnesty” for old enemies.

The mission said in a report it had recorded at least 218 extrajudicial killings with links to the Taliban from their takeover of Afghanistan in mid-2021 up to June.

“In most instances, individuals were detained by de facto security forces, often briefly, before being killed,” the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

Senior Taliban leaders have said there is an amnesty for former government officials and members of the military by order of their supreme leader.

The Taliban-led foreign affairs ministry said in response to UNAMA that it had not received reports of any cases of non-compliance with the order and any cases that did occur would be investigated.

U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk said the killings were a “betrayal of the people’s trust” since the victims had been assured they would not be targeted. U.N. rights office spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said the scale of killings was “shocking” and expected the true count to be higher.

UNAMA said about half of the killings it recorded occurred in the four months after the Taliban took over, as U.S.-backed foreign forces were withdrawing, in August 2021, and 70 were recorded in 2022.

“For the majority of violations discussed in this report, there is limited information regarding measures taken by the de facto authorities to investigate incidents and hold perpetrators to account,” UNAMA said, referring to the Taliban administration.

“The apparent impunity with which members of the de facto authorities continue to commit human rights violations against former government officials and ANDSF members is of serious concern,” UNAMA said, referring to the old Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

In total, UNAMA had recorded 800 incidents of human rights violations connected with the Taliban against former government employees and military including arbitrary arrests, disappearance and torture.

The majority were against former members of the security forces and police, the mission said.

The Taliban-led foreign affairs ministry said their supreme spiritual leader had issued the amnesty order and another order against torture or ill-treatment of people in custody.

It denied state sanctioned extra-judicial killings or targeting people who fought in or worked for the foreign-backed former government.

“No military staff of the previous administration has been arrested, detained or tortured because of his activities in the security institutions,” it said in a statement that the U.N. issued with its report.

“Those employees of the previous administration who joined the opposition groups of the Islamic Emirate (the Taliban administration) or had military activities to the detriment of the system, have been arrested and introduced to judicial authorities.”


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