Evidence found by Amnesty International shows that Taliban forces unlawfully killed 13 Hazaras who are Shia Muslims, including a teenage girl and eleven Hazara members of the former Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) in Daykundi province on August 30. A previous Amnesty report released in August also found that the Taliban had “massacred” nine members of the Hazara minority in Ghazni province in July.
“These cold-blooded executions are further proof that the Taliban are committing the same horrific abuses they were notorious for during their previous rule of Afghanistan,” said Agnès Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International.
According to an Amnesty report published yesterday, around 300 Taliban fighters traveled on August 30 to Dahani Qul, where members of the former government forces were staying with their families, and the Taliban opened fire on the victims as they attempted to flee.
Meanwhile, the Taliban is forcefully displacing indigenous Hazaras from their fertile lands in central Afghanistan. Recently, 1200 Hazara families were ordered to leave their homes in Daikundi province after men linked to the Taliban claimed ownership of about 15 villages.
Qari Saeed Khosti, the Taliban’s interior ministry spokesman, rejected the Amnesty report, saying that it is one-sided and free of transparency. “We call on all international organizations to come and conduct a proper investigation in the field,” he said.
Afghanistan’s third-largest ethnic group, about 20% of the population, Hazaras have faced long-term discrimination and persecution in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Killings of the previous Afghan government forces and Hazaras contradict the Taliban’s claim that they forgave Afghanistan’s previous government employees including former soldiers and minorities.
Sources: BBC 10/5/21; Amnesty International 10/5/21; TRT World 9/29/21