The Taliban ARE executing former Afghan army and government officials, says UN human rights chief as video shows ‘Panjshiri men being bundled into car trunks in Kabul’
- Michelle Bachelet told of ‘credible allegations’ of reprisal killings by the Taliban
- Sources told UN that former government soldiers are being rounded up, along with ‘people who cooperated with US security forces and companies’
- She spoke as video showed Taliban fighters forcing men into car boots in Kabul
- Four men are thought to be Panjshiris, an ethnic minority group that has long fought against the Taliban
The Taliban is carrying out reprisal attacks against former soldiers and government workers, the UN has been told – as video emerged showing Islamist fighters forcing young men into car boots in the capital Kabul.
Michelle Bachelet, speaking at the Human Rights Council on Monday, said she has seen ‘credible reports’ that Taliban fighters are searching house-to-house to track down anyone who helped the former government or US.
‘Officials who worked for previous administrations and their family members [are] being arbitrarily detained,’ she said. ‘In some cases, the officials were released, and in others, they were found dead.’
As she spoke, footage appeared online showing men – some of whom appear to be Taliban fighters – forcing at least four men into car boots.
Footage has emerged of men who appear to be Taliban fighters bundling other men into car boots in the Afghan capital of Kabul
According to Iran International correspondent Tajuden Soroush, the footage was filmed in the Salang Wat district of Kabul and the men are ethnic Panjshiris.
The Panjshiris have a long history of fighting against the Taliban, and are one of several Tajik minorities who are frequently persecuted by the group.
It is unclear exactly why these young men were being detained, but it comes just after the Taliban claimed to have conquered the Panjshir Valley – where an alliance of warlords was holding out against Islamist rule.
UN staffers have also reported increasing attacks and threats, she added, without providing specifics.
Ms Bachelet also highlighted ‘deeply troubling information’ about Taliban raids on offices of some advocacy groups.
‘In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere,’ she told the 47-member council as it opened its autumn session.
She said girls aged over 12 have been barred from attending school in some places in Afghanistan, and Women’s Affairs departments had been at times dismantled.
The Taliban has publicly insisted that its rule of Afghanistan will be more moderate than it was during the 1990s, when its brutal interpretation of Sharia law saw women stripped of their rights along with public floggings and executions.
But near-daily stories have emerged of horrors that Afghan people – particularly women and ethnic minorities – are being subjected to under their rule.
At the weekend, footage emerged which appeared to show Taliban fighters beheading an Afghan soldier before holding his head aloft while chanting.
Other footage has shown militants beating and whipping people on the streets as reports emerged of targeted killings and fighters going door-to-door searching for blue US passports.
Journalists have also complained of being kidnapped and beaten, though the Taliban insists it wants a free press to operate within the country.
The beheading footage emerged just days after Taliban militants executed the brother of one of the Afghan resistance fighters’ leaders.
The man was the brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan vice president who became one of the leaders of anti-Taliban opposition forces in the Panjshir valley.
The news that Saleh’s brother Rohullah Azizi was killed came days after Taliban forces took control of the provincial centre of Panjshir, the last province holding out against them after the took control of the rest of Afghanistan last month.
The Taliban has pledged to preserve women’s rights and prevent reprisal killings, but already dozens of reports have emerged of atrocities being carried out (file image)
‘They executed my uncle,’ Ebadullah Saleh told Reuters in a text. ‘They killed him yesterday and would not let us bury him. They kept saying his body should rot.’
The Urdu language account of the Taliban information service Alemarah said that ‘according to reports’ Rohullah Saleh was killed during fighting in Panjshir.
Saleh, a former head of the National Directorate of Security, the intelligence service of the Western-backed government that collapsed last month, is at large though his exact location remains unclear.
The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, which groups opposition forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, has pledged to continue opposing the Taliban even after the fall of Panjshir’s provincial capital Bazarak.
The news of Rohullah Saleh’s execution comes after the UN warned the Taliban have started carrying out ‘reprisal killings’.
The UN envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said there had been ‘credible allegations’ of targeted killings ‘despite the many statements granting general amnesties’.
She added Afghan security officials and people who worked for the previous administration were at risk.
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