Taliban killed 100 ex-Afghan govt officials, others: UN report

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Intl desk, Jan 31: A United Nations report seen Sunday says the Taliban and its allies allegedly killed more than 100 former Afghan government members, security personnel and people who worked with international forces, AFP reported.

The report, an advance copy of which was seen by AFP, describes severe curtailing of human rights by Afghanistan’s new fundamentalist rulers. In addition to the political killings, women’s rights and the right to protest have also been curbed.

“Despite announcements of general amnesties for former members of the Government, security forces and those who worked with international military forces, UNAMA continued to receive credible allegations of killings, enforced disappearances, and other violations towards these individuals,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s report said.

Since the Taliban seized Kabul on August 15, the UN mission in Afghanistan has received more than 100 reports of such killings that it deems credible, the report said.

More than two-thirds of those killings were “extra-judicial killings committed by the de facto authorities or their affiliates.”

Additionally, “human rights defenders and media workers continue to come under attack, intimidation, harassment, arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and killings,” it said.

The report also detailed a government clampdown on peaceful protests, as well as a lack of access for women and girls to work and education.

“An entire complex social and economic system is shutting down,” Guterres said in the report.

Afghanistan is in the grip of a humanitarian disaster, worsened by the Taliban takeover that prompted Western countries to freeze international aid and access to billions of dollars’ worth of assets held abroad.

The country was almost entirely dependent on foreign aid under the previous US-backed government, but jobs have dried up and most civil servants haven’t been paid for months.

No country has yet recognized the Taliban government, with most watching to see how the hardline Islamists — notorious for human rights abuses during their first stint in power — restrict freedoms.

With poverty deepening and a drought devastating farming in many areas, the United Nations has warned that half the 38 million population faces food shortages.

The UN Security Council last month unanimously adopted a US resolution to allow some aid to reach desperate Afghans without violating international sanctions.

But there are growing calls from rights groups and aid organizations for the West to release more funds — particularly in the middle of a harsh winter.