More than 100 former members of the Afghan security forces and others have been killed; after the Taliban took the reins of Afghanistan in August and most of them have been killed by the hardline Islamist group; the United Nations said on Tuesday.
“Between August and November, we received credible allegations of more than 100 killings of former Afghan national security forces and others associated with the former Government; with at least 72 of these killings attributed to the Taliban;” UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif informed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
“In several cases, the bodies were publicly displayed. This has of course exacerbated fear among this sizable category of the population,” she further said.
In her speech, Al-Nashif said that; the country witnessed the highest civilian casualty this year even before the Taliban took over.
Women and children represented close to half of all those deaths. While the harm to civilians; due to the fighting, has declined to a degree after August; they continued to remain at risk, she said. “… ruthless campaigns of lethal attacks are still being carried out by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP) armed group as well as by other armed groups,” she noted.
“In Nangarhar province alone; there also appears to be a pattern of at least 50 extra-judicial killings of individuals suspected to be members of the ISIL-KP. Brutal methods of killings, including hanging, beheadings, and public display of corpses have been reported,” she added.
Expressing concerns about the risk of children being recruited by Taliban and other networks such as ISIL-KP; she also noted that boys were becoming “increasingly visible” among security forces in checkpoints and as bodyguards.
Regarding women’s rights, she said that the Taliban’s decree earlier this month left many questions unanswered.
“It does not make clear a minimum age for marriage; nor refer to any wider women and girls’ rights to education, to work, to freedom of movement, or to participate in public life,” she said.
She cited a report by Unicef and said that 60% of the 4.2 million school children; who are out of school, were girls.
In provinces where the Taliban had allowed girls to attend schools, absence of women teachers was a problem.
“The continued participation of women in all aspects of life will be fundamental to Afghanistan’s future. UN partners have estimated that restricting women from working could contribute an immediate economic loss of up to US$1 billion – or up to 5% of the country’s GDP,” she highlighted.
Drawing attention to the issue of threat from the Taliban to the civil society in Afghanistan; she said, “The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented 59 apparently arbitrary detentions, beatings, and threats of civil society activists, journalists, and staff of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, attributed to the de facto authorities.” She also said that the safety of legal professionals, particularly women; was a matter of “particular alarm.”