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September 2, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9533

Atrocities Committed By The Afghan Taliban Since The Fall Of Kabul

September 2, 2021
Afghanistan | Special Dispatch No. 9533

Since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Kabul and other provinces of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, their fighters have been roaming the streets of Kabul and other provinces, carrying heavy weapons and terrorizing Afghan civilians. After the Fall of Kabul, while many Afghan newspapers and websites stopped publishing reports about the Taliban's crimes, individual Afghans began reporting such atrocities on social media networks such as Twitter.[1]


Afghan Taliban patrolling the streets in Afghanistan

During the first week after the Fall of Kabul, MEMRI published a report on atrocities committed by the jihadi fighters of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Afghan Taliban organization.[2]

Scores of tweets indicate that civilian Afghans are being terrorised by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Afghan journalist Habib Khan tweeted on August 29: "Spoke to several Afghan journalists, most of them are in hiding, especially female journalists. Some of them tried to go back to work but were turned away by the Taliban. They can't hide forever, and they must be relocated to safer locations."[3]

On August 26, a video of the Taliban members beating unarmed Afghans in Kabul was shared by Lemar Siddiqui, a resident of the Afghan capital, who tweeted: "Look at this atrocity. He beat this young man once in Kabul yesterday and then martyred him in front of his wife."[4] The video tweet was subsequently shared by another Twitter account, who wrote: "One has to ask why the Taliban beat this young man in front of his wife and killed him..."[5]

Sami Mahdi, a Kabul University lecturer and journalist, shared a video on August 28 of an Afghan musician who was kidnapped and murdered by the Taliban jihadis, who do not approve of music. Mahdi wrote: "Fawad Andarabi, a local artist, was dragged out of his home yesterday and killed by the Taliban in Kishnabad village of Andarab. He was a famous folk singer in the valley. His son has confirmed the incident."[6]


Local musician Fawad Andarabi, who was murdered by the Taliban

Although the Afghan Taliban have publicly promised to protect minorities and women in Afghanistan, their cadres have a deeply ideological-religious view on human rights. Like the Islamic State (ISIS), most Sunni groups in South Asia including the Afghan Taliban do not consider Shi'ites to be Muslims.

Regarding the Taliban's persecution of Shi'ite Hazara communities in Afghanistan, an Afghan Twitter handle wrote: "My first cousins, ethnic Hazaras, were beaten by the Taliban when trying to leave Afghanistan only to be told by Pakistan's border police they are not welcome and need to go back. Indignity upon indignity."[7]


Paiman, a 22-year-old sportsman, was executed by the Taliban

In addition to Shi'ite Hazara community, journalists, and women, there are numerous former Afghan government officials, military officers and soldiers, and some ethnic communities that are victims in the Taliban's everyday atrocities.

On August 30, former Afghan minister of interior Masood Andarabi tweeted a picture of a 22-year-old sportsman who was killed by the Taliban. Andarabi noted: "Taliban's brutality must stop. His name was Paiman, 22, a sportsman and a tailor. He was coming home to Andarab from a neighboring province when he was taken [captive] at a Taliban's checkpoint and brutally executed on the side of the road. His crime. Being Andarabi. killings must stop."[8]

Kabul-based journalist Tajuden Soroush shared a video of an Afghan who was brutally beaten by the Taliban. Soroush noted "Graphic warning" in his tweet, saying: "His name is Dad Mohammad, and he is from Farkhar district of Takhar province. He is a relative of... ex-government official and Taliban beat him like this and asked him [to] find ex-government official['s] weapons."[9]

On August 29, Tajuden Soroush tweeted about the Taliban's killing of a man in Kabul: "Taliban shot dead a young man in Shahar Naw area of Kabul. Local journalists say, Taliban had told him stop, when he did not stop his car then the Taliban shot him by PK machine gun..."[10] On August 27, journalist Bilal Sarwary tweeted a video clip of a black-clad Taliban fighter beating an Afghan civilian.[11]

Journalist Waheed Paikan, tweeting in Persian on August 19, noted the killing of one Haji Mullah by Taliban mujahideen despite being pardoned initially. Paikan wrote: "The Taliban shot dead the... government commander in Badghis province. His name is Haji Mullah... Taliban pardoned him a few days ago and gave him an amnesty, but he was shot."[12]

Similarly, Majeed Qarar reported the killing of an Afghan soldier by the Taliban after he was pardoned. Col. Darwesh, the 29-year-old who served in the 8th Battalion in Helmand province, was granted amnesty by the Taliban, but later they knocked on his door, took him on the pretext of helping a patient at a hospital and killed him, noted Majeed Qarar in his tweet.[13]

Fawad Poya, an academic, reported how the Taliban were searching the homes of government officials: "It is a lie that the Taliban have stopped searching the houses. They came to our house and asked about me. I was a regular employee of the former regime, and I am not affiliated with any party or political faction. My personality was more academic than political," he tweeted, adding: "I am safe now and I ask you not to believe in [media reports about the] Talib's forgiveness."[14]


A Taliban fighter, dressed in black, beating a civilian in Kabul city

It seems that after the Taliban seized Kabul, reports of extrajudicial killings in various provinces became routine but such killings were not reported in the national and international media, which has been focused on the Taliban's efforts on government formation in Kabul.

For example, Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan, reported that a government attorney had been dragged out of his house in Jalalabad by the Taliban fighters and was later found dead.[15] The Taliban movement "really has to stop these killings if they want to win trust," Baheer tweeted.[16]

A Twitter handle also reported of economic crimes in some regions. For example, in Ghor province, the individual Taliban fighters had started collecting "heavy taxes," including "25000 Afghani per well... flower making machine 5000 Afghani each... one sheep from one hundred" only days after they had seized power.[17] A Twitter account noted: "My family has paid 35,000 Afghani so far [as taxes]."[18]

 

[1] After the Taliban seized power on August 15, 2021, several news websites such as 8am.af, dailyweesa.com, armanemili.com, dailyafghanistan.com, and many others stopped publishing for fear of reprisal attacks.

[3] Twitter.com/HabibKhanT/status/1431861544221036544, August 29, 2021. The original English of all tweets included in this dispatch has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.

[4] Twitter.com/ SiddiquiLemar, August 26, 2021.

[5] Twitter.com/PEACEtalk2021/status/1430876657678753795, August 26, 2021.

[6] Twitter.com/Samiullah_mahdi/status/1431647857883459594, August 28, 2021.

[7] Twitter.com/FarangiesShah/status/1432213682705031169, August 30, 2021.

[8] Twitter.com/andarabi/status/1432067496476041216, August 30, 2021.

[9] Twitter.com/TajudenSoroush/status/1431924895106076673, August 29, 2021.

[10] Twitter.com/TajudenSoroush/status/1431916255150321671, August 29, 2021.

[11] Twitter.com/bsarwary/status/1431228069604429826, August 27, 2021.

[12] Twitter.com/wpaykan/status/1428313257174081542, August 19, 2021.

[13] Twitter.com/MajeedQarar/status/1431876501503315973, August 29, 2021.

[14] Twitter.com/FawadPoya/status/1431595257951522822, August 28, 2021.

[15] Twitter.com/ObaidullaBaheer/status/1431622812536655878, August 28, 2021.

[16] Twitter.com/ObaidullaBaheer/status/1431622812536655878, August 28, 2021.

[17] Twitter.com/alisher_bek20/status/1431633042938941449, August 28, 2021.

[18] Twitter.com/alisher_bek20/status/1431635166573875209, August 28, 2021.

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