07/21/2022, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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UN reports more than 2,000 dead and wounded since Taleban took poor in Kabul

In its latest report, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reports extrajudicial executions, torture, and arbitrary detentions by the Taliban. Although the level of violence has dropped, the humanitarian situation remains disastrous. In the last two months alone, 27 people committed suicide because of economic hardships. A foreign journalist was forced by Taliban intelligence to apologise for her articles.

 

Kabul (AsiaNews) – Despite a "significant reduction" in armed violence, more than 2,000 civilians have died since in the last 10 months in Afghanistan, this according to a report released yesterday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Almost a year after the Taliban seized power again (August 2021), the human rights of the Afghan people, especially of women and girls, are not guaranteed.

Foreign journalists have been targeted by repression while at least 27 people have committed suicide in the last two months, especially girls, as a result of the country’s terrible economic conditions.

According to UNAMA, at least 118,443 people were killed from December 2008 to 15 August 2021, especially in the last month before the withdrawal of the US-led international force, which reported the highest number of civilians killed in a single period.

Between January and mid-August 2021 UNAMA reported 2,091 dead and 5,309 wounded, 40 per cent of them women and children, caught up in clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces.

Between 15 August 2021 and 15 June 2022, 700 civilians were killed and 1,406 wounded by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP), the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group. Most attacks involved mosques, parks, schools, and public transport.

With the end of the war and the Taliban takeover, the level of violence against civilians declined but it remains high.

Human rights violations are commonplace, despite pledges by the new authorities to guarantee the right of girls to an education and grant a general amnesty to the security forces of the old regime.

Instead, the Taleban targeted specific groups in society, including officials with the Afghan government supported by the international community and people accused of being affiliated with the Islamic State group or the resistance against the Taliban regime.

To sum up, the last 10 months saw at least 160 extrajudicial executions, 178 arbitrary arrests, and 56 cases of torture of former officials from the Ministry of Defence and the National Security Forces of the ousted government.

To these violations must be added at least 18 extrajudicial executions, 54 cases of torture and 113 arbitrary arrests of people associated with the National Resistance Front, which is active mainly in Baghlan and Panjshir provinces.

The General Directorate of Intelligence (Istikhbarat), the Taliban intelligence apparatus, committed most of the torture (which ended in many deaths) and executions.

At least 217 cases of inhuman and degrading treatment for "moral” crimes were reported, mostly at the hands of the Taliban Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, responsible for beating, whipping, and in some cases stoning to death people for not going to the mosque to pray, for adultery or sexual relations outside of marriage.

What is more, at least 173 journalists and 65 activists have been victims of abuse by the Taliban after restrictions were imposed on freedoms of expression and opinion.

Foreign journalists were also forced to submit to the rules of the Islamic Emirate; for example, Australian journalist Lynne O'Donnell tweeted, once she left the country, that she had been forced by Taliban intelligence to tweet an apology.

An unprecedented economic crisis has worsened the human rights situation. At present, 59 per cent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance, six million more than a year ago.

In the last two months, at least 27 people have taken their own lives in different provinces of the country because of poverty and financial difficulty, Tolo News reported.

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