In a new report, Amnesty International has stated that the Taliban have committed war crimes of collective punishment against civilians in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province.
The report, ‘Your Sons Are In The Mountains’: The Collective Punishment of Civilians In Panjshir by the Taliban, documents serious international human rights and humanitarian law violations, including extrajudicial executions, torture, hostage-taking, unlawful detention, and the torching of civilian homes.
The report stated that the Taliban have retaliated against captured National Resistance Front (NRF) fighters, and targeted the civilian population in Panjshir to force compliance and submission after they seized power and noticed an opposition rising in the region.
The global rights watchdog called on the Taliban authorities to investigate the cases documented, and hold fair trials before ordinary civilian courts where warranted.
It also renewed its call for the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an independent international accountability mechanism with a focus on preserving evidence for future justice processes, including prosecutions as well as public reporting and monitoring.
“In Panjshir, the Taliban’s cruel tactic of targeting civilians due to suspicion of their affiliation with the NRF is causing widespread misery and fear with a clear goal of intimidation and punishment,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
The report talks about how the Taliban has conducted village-wide arbitrary arrests of all adult men and older boys, detained them without charge, and subjected them to beatings and other abuse.
The report also documents several cases of mass extrajudicial executions of NRF fighters by the Taliban.
In at least three cases, the Taliban also tortured to death civilians they had arrested in the Bazarak and Rokha districts of Panjshir province.