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Amnesty International documents war crimes committed by the Taliban and killing of ethnic and religious minorities

The Amnesty report documents torture, extrajudicial executions and killings by the Taliban during the final assault on Afghanistan ahead of capturing Kabul.

In a report published by Amnesty International, it has been stated that the Taliban wanted to behead the injured people captured during its offensive in July and August 2021 as the Taliban took control of the districts in Afghanistan. The report also revealed that the Taliban butchered ethnic and religious minorities, former ANDSF soldiers and those who supported the government.

The report titled No Escape: War Crimes and Civilian Harm During The Fall Of Afghanistan To The Taliban, documents torture, extrajudicial executions and killings by the Taliban during the final assault on Afghanistan ahead of capturing Kabul.

“Our new evidence shows that, far from the seamless transition of power that the Taliban claimed happened, the people of Afghanistan have once again paid with their lives,” says Amnesty in its report. It states that homes, hospitals, schools and shops were turned into crime scenes as people were repeatedly killed and injured

When the Taliban forces attacked Bazarak town in Panjshir province on 6 September 2021, around 20 men were taken as captives by Talibani militants. These men were detained and were sometimes forced inside a pigeon coop. These captured men from Bazarak were tortured, denied food and threatened with execution.

One of them said, “[The] Talib had taken a knife… he was saying he wanted to behead the wounded… because they are infidels and Jews.”  

While another man stated, “They kept us underground. When we were asking for medical treatment of the wounded, the Taliban were saying, ‘Let them die’… There was no food and water, and no support to the wounded. They had brutal relations with us. When we were asking for water, they were saying, ‘Die of thirst’.”

In another instance, the Taliban conducted a door-to-door operation in the village of Urmaz to mark people who worked for the government. Talibani militants then extrajudicially gunned down at least six civilian men within 24 hours and brazenly committed war crimes. Eyewitnesses account stated that most of the civilians killed by Taliban forces were not involved with the government or in any kind of hostilities.

The report also recorded retaliatory attacks and the killing of people having links with the former government in Spin Boldak. Taliban massacres of ethnic Hazaras in Ghazni and Daykundi provinces had also been documented by Amnesty International while the full scale of Taliban atrocities cannot be estimated as the Taliban forces have destroyed or disrupted the mobile phone service and communication in the rural areas.  

The Amnesty report also documents civilian deaths caused by US and Afghan airstrikes, which included three strikes by American forces and one by Afghan forces.

“The International Criminal Court must reverse its misguided decision to deprioritize investigations into US and Afghan military operations, and instead follow the evidence on all possible war crimes, no matter where it leads,” Amnesty demanded in its report.

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