By Chioma Iruke
The Taliban has been accused of killing individuals who worked for the previous government, violating the group’s promise to respect the human rights of every Afghan citizen.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said her office received credible allegations that members of the previous government and their family members were arbitrarily detained and in some cases, found dead after being released.
In a statement on Monday, Ms Bachelet disclosed that Taliban fighters were conducting house to house raids in search of government officials and people that cooperated with the United States security forces and companies.
Ms Bachelet said available information indicates that practice on the ground contradicts the Taliban promise to “grant amnesty to former security personnel and civil servants, prohibiting house-to-house searches, and assuring women’s rights under Islamic law.”
“My Office has received credible allegations of reprisal killings of a number of former ANSF personnel, and reports of civilians who worked for previous administrations and their family members being arbitrarily detained. In some cases, the officials were released, and in others, they were found dead.
“In addition, we have received multiple allegations of the Taliban conducting house-to-house searches looking for specific government officials and people who cooperated with US security forces and companies.
“These searches have reportedly taken place throughout the city of Kabul, as well as Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Gardez, Maimana, Samangan and elsewhere. A number of similar incidents have affected UN staff, who report increasing attacks and threats,” she said.
On women rights, Ms Bachelet said women have been excluded from public sphere under the new Taliban rule, adding that the new government had dismantled many departments of women affairs across Afghanistan, taking over their offices and equipment and gaining access to sensitive files and threatening their personnel.
After taking over power, the Taliban while declaring amnesty across the country in August, promised to respect the human rights of Afghan citizens, especially women and girls.
The group said it will allow women access to education and work, adding that punishments like executions, amputations and stoning will be at the discretion of courts.
However, the UN commissioner said, “Taliban representatives have limited girls’ access to education, with girls over 12 prohibited from attending school in several locations.”