The United States has led a group of Western nations and allies in condemning the Taliban over the “summary killings” of former members of the Afghan security forces reported by rights groups demanding urgent investigations.
“We are deeply concerned about reports of summary killings and forced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces as documented by Human Rights Watch and others,” read a statement from the US, EU, Australia, UK, Japan and others released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.
“We emphasize that the alleged acts constitute a serious violation of human rights and are contrary to the Taliban’s announced amnesty,” the group of nations said as it called on Afghanistan’s new rulers to ensure that the amnesty was enforced and maintained throughout the country and throughout their ranks.
Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the summary execution or forced disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces, other military personnel, police and intelligence agents who had either surrendered to or been apprehended by the Taliban. from mid-August to October.
“Reported cases must be investigated immediately and in a transparent manner, those responsible must be held accountable, and these steps must be clearly disclosed as an immediate deterrent to further killings and disappearances,” the countries – which include Canada, New Zealand, Romania, Ukraine and several European nations – said in their statement.
“We will continue to measure the Taliban on their actions.”
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August when the US-backed government in Kabul and the country’s military collapsed.
Their return to power came almost 20 years after they were driven out by American forces, which put an end to a fundamentalist regime suspected of its brutal treatment of women, lack of human rights and harsh interpretations of Islam.
Today’s Taliban leaders, eager to achieve international respectability, have promised that their regime will be different.
But the new government continues to carry out violent punishments, and the UN has expressed concern over “credible allegations” that the Taliban have carried out reprisal killings since their victory, despite promises of amnesty for the fallen government’s troops.
In its report, HRW said Taliban leaders have instructed surrendering security forces to register with the authorities to be screened for ties to certain military or special forces units and to receive a letter guaranteeing their security.
“But the Taliban have used these screenings to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear individuals within days of their registration, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find,” HRW said.
Washington earlier this week held talks with Taliban officials, the second round of discussions since U.S. forces left.
At the Doha talks, US officials called on the hardline Islamist group to provide access to education for women and girls across the country.
It “also expressed deep concern over allegations of human rights violations,” a U.S. spokesman said.