Responding to reports of use of torture, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrest of civilians by the Taliban in Panjshir province of Afghanistan, Zaman Sultani, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher, said:
“Constantly, reports are coming of arbitrary arrests and unlawful killings of civilians by the Taliban in Panjshir. Events in the last couple of weeks leave little room for doubt that there is a growing pattern of extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests committed by the Taliban. These serious human rights violations create a climate of fear and distrust in the region and violate international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes. The Taliban must immediately release all the civilians who have been arbitrarily arrested by the various Taliban members and groups over accusations of being members of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan (NRF) – an armed group.”
Events in the last couple of weeks leave little room for doubt that there is a growing pattern of extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests committed by the TalibanZaman Sultani, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher
“Amnesty International is gravely concerned about reports that those arbitrarily arrested are also facing physical torture and beatings that, in some cases, even resulted in death, as has been reported in the case of Abdul Munir Amini on 4 June.”
“While the Taliban have rejected any reports of civilian deaths, these incidents are accompanied by lack of accountability within the Taliban rank and file. As the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, the Taliban must take immediate steps to conduct thorough, impartial and independent investigations of these incidents and prosecute those responsible for the torture, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial execution. To ensure accountability, transparency and safeguard civilians from torture, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances, the Taliban must release information on all those who have been arrested or detained and permit detainees to communicate with their families.”
On 12 June 2022, the Taliban shot dead Murzataza, a resident of Khesa-Awal district of Panjshir who reportedly was also suffering from mental illness.
On 4 June 2022, the spokesperson for the Taliban Governor of Panjshir Province in a video statement to the media said that fewer than 40 people were arrested. In Panjshir the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, an armed group fighting against the Taliban, has strong presence.
One of those arrested, Abdul Munir Amini, was reportedly tortured to death.
Media reports suggest that a larger number of civilians than admitted by the Taliban have been arbitrarily arrested from various different districts of Panjshir in the past few weeks.