20220925 173033

Amnesty says 6 members of minority Shiite family were killed by Taliban

thehourlynews 2 weeks ago 0
20220925 173033

ISLAMABAD — A leading international rights group released a harrowing report Friday about six members of an extended minority Shiite family in Afghanistan who were brutally murdered by the Taliban earlier this summer. He accused Afghanistan’s new rulers of blatant disregard for human rights and abuse of minorities.

Amnesty International said the Hazaras killed included a 12-year-old boy in what the human rights group called a deliberate targeting of the ethnic minority. The killings took place in Ghor province on June 26 and represent evidence of how the Taliban have failed to establish an inclusive government since taking power just over a year ago, Amnesty said.

The Taliban invaded Kabul, the Afghan capital, and captured most of the rest of the country in a bombardment in August 2021, as US and NATO troops were in the final weeks of their departure from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. . The country’s Western-backed government and army collapsed under the Taliban attack.

According to Amnesty, on the night of June 26, Taliban forces raided the home of Mohamad Muradi, a Hazara and former security officer in Ghor. Muradi had also led a local militia that fought the Taliban in 2020 and 2021.

After the Taliban takeover, Muradi tried to escape to Iran but failed and recently returned home to Lal-wa Sarjangal district in Ghor, where he was hiding.

Amnesty’s report quoted witnesses as saying the Taliban attack began at night, with rocket-propelled grenades fired at Muradi’s home, instantly killing his 22-year-old daughter, Taj Gul Muradi. Muradi himself and two other children, a 12-year-old son and daughter, were initially injured. The girl died of her injuries the next day, Amnesty said.

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An injured Muradi surrendered to the Taliban through the mediation of local elders, but was dragged out of the house and killed.

Three other men, Muradi’s nephew Ghulam Haider Mohammadi, and two other relatives, both former anti-Taliban militiamen, who were visiting the family were also killed, Amnesty said.

According to witnesses, the Taliban took the two relatives, Asif Rezayee and Arif Sangaree, and took them away. Their bodies were later found more than 30 minutes’ drive from Muradi’s home.

Amnesty said its report was based on eight separate interviews, conducted remotely and with witnesses to the attack, as well as analysis of photos and videos taken after the killings.

It was not clear from the report what happened to Muradi’s wounded son, other members of his immediate family and other relatives who may have been in the house during the attack.

The London-based watchdog urged the Taliban to investigate the killings and “ensure those responsible are brought to justice in accordance with international human rights obligations and standards.” He suggested that if Afghanistan’s new rulers cannot deliver justice, the ICC prosecutor should open a full investigation.

“The Taliban must immediately end this cruel pattern of targeted killings and, as the de facto authorities, ensure the protection of all Afghans,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s Secretary General.

The international community, concerned about the harsh rule of the Taliban when they were last in power in the late 1990s, has denied official recognition of their new administration. She also demanded that the Taliban uphold women’s rights, allow girls to go to school beyond the sixth grade, and repeal their ban on women’s full access to society and the right to work in all fields.

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There are other demands as well, such as the rights of ethnic minorities and the establishment of an inclusive government, all points on which the Taliban have failed to respond despite initial promises to the contrary.

The Taliban were not immediately available to comment on the Amnesty report.

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