Afghanistan: UN raises alarm over Taliban’s reprisal attacks, execution of citizens

At the ongoing 31st special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, serious human rights concerns were raised regarding activities of Taliban after the group’s takeover of Afghanistan.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, told member states that her office had reliable information of gross violation of human rights by the Taliban, including killing of civilians.

She explained that the development has made many people residing in the country to live in fear.

“In particular, we have also received credible reports of serious violations of international humanitarian law, and human rights abuses, taking place in many areas under effective Taliban control. They include, among others, summary executions of civilians and hors de combat members of the Afghan national security forces; restrictions on the rights of women – including their right to move around freely and girls’ right to attend schools; recruitment of child soldiers; and repression of peaceful protest and expression of dissent.

“Many people now fear reprisals by the Taliban against those working with the Government or the international community; people who have worked to advance human rights and justice; or those whose lifestyles and opinions are simply perceived to be opposed to the Taliban ideology,” she said in a statement published on the UN Office website.

Recall that after the United States’ decision to withdraw troops from the country, Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani, fled Afghanistan resulting in the capture of the country’s seat of power by Taliban.

Ever since, multitudes of citizens have been seeking to leave the country through air and land routes, and the rush was further heightened due to the August 31 deadline fixed by the US government to evacuate its troops.

The US is said to have evacuated about 58,700 people from the country, so far.

Meanwhile, US allies are mounting pressure on US president Joe Biden to further extend the deadline.

A meeting between G7 Countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US) is scheduled to hold today (Tuesday) and the evacuation efforts and other Afghanistan–related issues are to be discussed.

Speaking further, Bachelet said that since the Taliban had pledged to respect human rights, it will be held responsible for further developments in the country.

“Taliban spokespeople have made specific commitments to respect women’s right to work and girls’ right to attend school, within the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law. They have also said they would respect the rights of members of ethnic and religious minorities, and refrain from reprisals against those who have worked with the Government or the international community.

“The onus is now fully on the Taliban to translate these commitments into reality. In seizing effective control of much of the country, they must ensure, in those areas, ongoing respect for the international human rights commitments made by the State – as well as ensuring ongoing, and indeed heightened, provision of essential public services, without discrimination, to all,” she said.

Also, she urged the international community to use its influence to advocate for human rights in the country.

“I also ask States to use their influence with the Taliban to encourage respect for all human rights, for all. Islamic-majority countries in particular could share their successful experiences of implementing international human rights norms in their cultural and religious contexts,” she added.

However, a Taliban official told Aljazeera on Sunday that the apprehension in country ought not be so.

“It is very unfortunate for people to be rushing to the airport the way they are at the moment.

“Because we have announced a general amnesty for everyone in the security forces from the senior to the junior level… this fear, this hysteria that has taken place is unfounded,” the official said.



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