UN says Taliban hardliners are behind killings and erosion of women’s rights
Human rights envoy sounds alarm on extrajudicial killings, recruiting of child soldiers and dire shortages
Geneva — More than 100 former Afghan national security forces and others have been killed since the Taliban takeover in August, most at the hands of a local hardline jihadist group that is recruiting boy soldiers and suppressing women’s rights, the UN said on Tuesday.
Nada al-Nashif, UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, said that in addition, at least 50 suspected members of a local affiliate of Islamic state known as Isis-Khorasan — an ideological foe of the Taliban — died by hanging and beheading.
In a speech to the Human Rights Council, she described Taliban rule as being marked by extrajudicial killings across the country and restrictions on women’s and girls’ basic rights. Families face “severe poverty and hunger” this winter amid reports of child labour, early marriages and “even the sale of children”, Nashif said.
At least 72 of the more than 100 alleged killings have been attributed to the Taliban, she said, adding: “In several cases, the bodies were publicly displayed. This has worsened fear among this sizeable category of the population.”
The Taliban decree earlier this month fails to refer to women’s and girls’ rights to education and work and their freedom of movement and to participate in public life, Nashif said.
At least eight Afghan activists and two journalists have been killed since August, while the UN has documented 59 unlawful detentions. “The safety of Afghan judges, prosecutors and lawyers — particularly women legal professionals — is a matter for particular alarm,” she added.
Afghanistan’s envoy from the former government accused the Taliban of committing a wide range of abuses, including targeted killings and enforced disappearances.
“With the military takeover of Kabul by the Taliban, not only [do] we see a total reversal of two decades of advances ... but the group is also committing a litany of abuses with full impunity, which in many cases is going unreported and undocumented,” Nasir Ahmad Andisha told the forum.
Andisha, Kabul’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva who is still recognised by the world body, said “credible reports have testified accounts of ethnic and tribal purging in several provinces of the country”.
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