UN sounds alarm over extrajudicial killings in the Taliban’s Afghanistan

The United Nations (UN) said Tuesday that it was alarmed by continuing reports of extrajudicial killings across Afghanistan, including hangings, beheadings and public displays of corpses.

“Between August and November, we received credible allegations of more than 100 killings of former Afghan national security forces and others associated with the former Government, with at least 72 of these killings attributed to the Taliban,” Nada Al-Nashif, UN deputy high commissioner for human rights, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Taliban have rejected the UN’s findings, saying there was “no proof” of the allegations. The group announced a general amnesty from August 15 and insisted that no one had been harmed after that.

The Taliban’s deputy spokesman, Bilal Karimi, told CNN that they did not punish anyone who had worked with the former government nor with ISIS without a court judgment. “All personnel of [the] former government are living normally in Afghanistan, no one hurts them,” he said, adding that people only “get killed when they are in direct fights with the Islamic Emirate.”

CNN cannot independently verify the UN’s findings.

In her speech in Geneva, Al-Nashif also warned that a profound humanitarian crisis threatens the most basic human rights in Afghanistan. She highlighted the reversal of women’s rights, saying several women’s rights defenders have been threatened since the Taliban takeover.

Both Al-Nashif and the High Commissioner “are deeply affected by the increased reports that we receive of women victims of violence who are unable to seek safety and justice,” she said.

“Women’s protection shelters in Afghanistan have been closed, and most incidents of violence and harmful practices against women and girls will increasingly go unreported or left to be resolved through traditional dispute resolution mechanisms,” added Al-Nashif.

She also said that since August, “at least eight civil society activists and two journalists have been killed, with others injured in attacks by unidentified armed men.”

Last month a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleged the Taliban had executed dozens of members of the Afghan security forces after they surrendered following the August takeover. The Taliban also disputed that report.