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UN records hundreds of killings and rights violations by Taliban

The Taliban have carried out hundreds of human rights violations in Afghanistan since seizing power last year, the United Nations said on Wednesday, including extrajudicial killings and torture.

“There is no denying that the findings of our report are extremely serious,” Markus Potzel, acting head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), told a news conference in Kabul.

1/ Remember Afghanistan?
First [email protected] report since Taliban take-over shows why ??s need protection!
➡️ 2106 civilian casualties (700 killed)
➡️100s of extrajudicial killings
➡️100s of arbitrary arrests and detentions
➡️Torture & ill-treatment

— ECRE (@ecre) July 20, 2022

The Taliban have routinely denied accusations of rights abuses since overthrowing the previous Western-backed government, but a UNAMA report released on Wednesday listed multiple accounts.

It documented 160 allegations of extrajudicial killings, 56 incidents of torture and ill-treatment and more than 170 arbitrary arrests and detentions against former government officials and national security force members since August.

The most common methods of torture included kicking, punching and slapping, beatings with cables and pipes and the use of electric shock devices.

Eleven months after the Taliban takeover, the UNAMA report demonstrates the crucial importance of continued monitoring and documentation of the steady erosion of rights in Afghanistan, and acts as an important reminder of the heavy price Afghans are paying.

— Patricia Gossman (@pagossman) July 20, 2022

The report also documented more than 200 instances of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments, including beating shopkeepers for not attending mosque, and more than 100 cases of excessive use of force.

UNAMA had 87 reports of violence against women and girls including murder, rape, suicide, forced marriages including child marriage, assault and battery, as well as two cases of honour killing – none of which have been registered with the formal justice system.

Among the cases documented was a couple publicly stoned to death after being accused of having an affair.

Over 700 civilians killed

Fiona Frazer, head of the UN’s human rights mission in Afghanistan, said “impunity prevails” in the country and acknowledged there may be an under-reporting of allegations. She emphasised that UNAMA was “particularly concerned” about the involvement of the Taliban’s religious police and intelligence service in abuses.

UNAMA said more than 700 civilians have been killed and at least 1,400 wounded in attacks mainly attributed to the local Islamic State branch, as well as unexploded mines.

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