New York [US], August 4 (ANI): An independent human rights organisation has said that Taliban forces advancing in Ghazni, Kandahar, and other Afghan provinces have summarily executed detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government.
In a report released on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) informed that residents from various provinces told HRW that Taliban forces in areas they enter, apparently identify residents who worked for the Afghan National Security Forces.
This comes amid heavy clashes between Afghanistan forces and the Taliban in several Afghan cities. Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified their offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces less than a month away.
According to the HRW report, the Taliban require former police and military personnel to register with them and provide a document purportedly guaranteeing their safety. However, the Taliban have later detained some of these people incommunicado and, in cases reported to Human Rights Watch, summarily executed them.
"Summarily executing anyone in custody, whether a civilian or combatant, is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime," said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director. "Taliban commanders with oversight over such atrocities are also responsible for war crimes."HRW obtained a list of 44 men from Spin Boldak, Kandahar, whom the Taliban have allegedly killed since July 16. All had registered with the Taliban before being summarily executed. Waheedullah, a police commander from Spin Boldak, had obtained a "forgiveness" letter from the Taliban, but Taliban fighters took him from his house and executed him on August 2, activists and media monitoring these detentions in Kandahar said.
Ghazni residents said that Taliban forces entered their neighborhoods on July 11, after Afghan government forces withdrew from the city. Taliban forces then searched house-to-house, apparently to identify residents who had worked for the provincial or district government or security forces.
The rights group said that the Taliban took into custody dozens of residents, some of whom were later released after being compelled to provide assurances they would not cooperate with the government.
According to the HRW, international humanitarian law prohibits detaining civilians unless absolutely necessary for imperative security reasons. Retaliatory detentions are a form of collective punishment and are also prohibited.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is currently investigating allegations of war crimes and serious human rights abuses by all parties to the conflict, including the Taliban, the group said. (ANI)