The latest report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan denounces extrajudicial executions, torture and arbitrary detentions carried out by the Taliban. Although the level of violence has decreased, the humanitarian situation remains dramatic. In the last two months alone, there have been 27 suicides related to economic hardship. A foreign journalist was forced by the Taliban intelligence services to apologize for her articles.
Kabul () – Despite a “significant reduction” in armed violence, in the last 10 months there have been more than 2,000 civilian victims in Afghanistan, and human rights, especially those of women and girls, are not guaranteed for the Afghan people. This is stated in the report published yesterday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) on the situation in the country almost a year after the reconquest of the Taliban. The repression of freedoms also affects foreign journalists and in the last two months there have been at least 27 suicides – mainly of adolescent women – related to the terrible economic conditions in which the country finds itself.
According to UNAMA data, more than 118,443 people were killed from December 2008 to August 15, 2021. The worst period was the month before the withdrawal of the international contingent led by the United States, during which the UN Mission recorded the highest number of civilians killed in the same period.
To make a comparison, between January and mid-August 2021, UNAMA reported 2,091 deaths and 5,309 injuries, of which 40% were women and children involved mainly in clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces. While between August 15, 2021 and June 15, 2022, 700 civilians were killed and 1,406 were injured. In this case, those responsible were mostly militants from the local branch of the Islamic State (IS-K, where “K” stands for Khorasan province). Mosques, parks, schools and public transport are the places where most of the attacks took place.
When the war ended and the Taliban arrived, the level of violence against civilians decreased, although it remains high. At the same time, despite the promises of the de facto authorities (such as guaranteeing girls the right to education or general amnesty for the security forces of the previous government), human rights violations are the order of the day. .
From the beginning, Quranic students targeted certain groups in society, such as Afghan government officials supported by the international community and people accused of being affiliated with the Islamic State or being part of the resistance against the Taliban regime. Just to give some figures, in the last 10 months there have been 160 extrajudicial executions, 178 arbitrary detentions and 56 cases of torture of former officials of the Defense and National Security Forces of the previous government. Added to these violations are at least 18 extrajudicial executions, 54 cases of torture and 113 arbitrary arrests of people belonging to the National Resistance Front, which operates mainly in the provinces of Baghlan and Panjshir. The Taliban intelligence apparatus, also known as Istikhbarat, is responsible for the majority of torture (many of which led to death) and executions.
At least 217 cases of inhuman and degrading treatment for “moral crimes” have also been verified: people were beaten or flogged and in some cases stoned for not going to the mosque to pray, for adultery or for having sex outside of marriage. Most of these measures have been overseen by the Taliban Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Finally, after the restrictions imposed on freedom of expression and opinion. At least 173 journalists and 65 activists were victims of abuse by the Taliban. Foreign journalists are also bound by the Islamic Emirate’s rules: Australian journalist Lynne O’Donnell had initially tweeted an apology for her reporting on Afghanistan; when she left the country she revealed, always through Twitter, that the Taliban intelligence services had forced her to do so.
The human rights situation has been aggravated by the unprecedented economic crisis in Afghanistan. There are currently 6 million more people in need of humanitarian assistance than at the beginning of 2021, a need that in total affects 59% of the population. In the last two months alone, at least 27 people have committed suicide in various provinces of the country. According to Tolo News, the reasons that led people to commit suicide were related above all to the conditions of poverty and economic difficulty.