Human Rights Watch: Taliban use amnesty scheme for executions

The amnesty scheme for employees of the former reign in Afghanistan proves an empty promise, says Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a report. โ€œNo one will knock on your door,โ€ a Taliban spokesperson promised former employees just after the takeover of power in August, but practice shows that it does happen.

More than a hundred former police officers, military and intelligence service members in Afghanistan have been executed or disappeared by law since the Taliban took over power. This is evident from interviews by the human rights organization in four provinces with survivors of the victims, neighbors, eyewitnesses, government employees and health services and also with members of the Taliban.

โ€œSome of them have been persuaded to surrender themselves because of that promise of amnesty,โ€ says correspondent Aletta Andrรฉ in the CCeit Radio 1 Journal. โ€œThey had to register for a letter that would guarantee their safety, but, according to HRW, those registrations were used in some places to arrest and execute those people on the spot.โ€

People who had not been registered or had been in hiding were also traced by the Taliban by means of names lists of employees of the previous government, on reports from the local community or by searches, which often happen at night.

โ€œHigh-ranking leaders know about itโ€

According to the human rights organization, there is increasing evidence that high-ranking leaders are aware of these executions and disappearances often carried out by local Taliban.

โ€œHuman Rights Watch states that local leaders dont let the promises made in Kabul stop themselves. They deal with their own enemies on the spot,โ€ says Andrรฉ. Promises from the leaders in Kabul that they will track down and punish the perpetrators of those executions and arrests appear to be unfulfilled in practice.

Personal settlements

The Taliban leaders in Kabul say that those executions and disappearances are about personal settlements and that they are not political, or that they are new crimes and conspiracies against the new government. That is why they must be separated from the amnesty scheme.

According to Andrรฉ, it is true that, due to the fall of the previous rule, a power vacuum has been created in some places, which increased violence and crime and personal settlements can certainly take place. โ€œBut Human Rights Watch has not been able to find evidence that the leaders in Kabul are trying to hold local leaders accountable for this or are trying to put an end to it,โ€ says Andrรฉ. โ€œAnd a hundred men, all former army or police officers, is of course a lot to dislike all as ordinary crime.โ€