Taliban fighters killed six Hazara people in a deliberate attack on the ethnic group in Afghanistan’s Ghor province, Amnesty International said on Friday following a new investigation.
The international body added that the attack is part of a wider pattern of unlawful targeted killings of people whom the Taliban perceives as adversaries, in this case being both members of the Hazara community and those who were associated with the former Afghan government. Amnesty stated that the violent deaths are further shocking proof that the Taliban continue to persecute, torture and extrajudicially execute Hazara people.
Amnesty International urged the Taliban to investigate these killings and ensure that those responsible are prosecuted in accordance with international human rights obligations and standards.
It added that if the de facto authorities cannot provide justice, it called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open full investigations into all cases of extrajudicial executions. It also called for an independent accountability mechanism in and for Afghanistan.”
“The Taliban must immediately end this cruel pattern of targeted killings and, as the de facto authorities, ensure the protection of all Afghans,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
Citing another example, the report stated that on 26 June 2022, the Taliban detained and unlawfully executed four men during a night raid operation in search of a former security official. The body of at least one of those executed showed signs of torture. A woman and a 12-year-old girl were also killed during the raid.
Amnesty International documented similar extrajudicial executions of Hazara people in Ghazni province in July 2021, and Daykundi province in August 2021. “Despite publicly promising not to target former government officials, the Taliban have still not investigated or prosecuted anyone for the killings,” the report said.
Stating examples of various cases of extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests and torture, Amnesty International said that it believes the Taliban justification is a pretext for targeting ethnic minorities and soldiers associated with the former government.
It asked the Taliban to immediately cease these acts of revenge and ensure employees of the former government and their families can live safely in Afghanistan.