Taliban Presiding Over Extensive Rights Abuses in Afghanistan, Says UN 

The Taliban has presided over widespread human rights abuses since taking over Afghanistan in August 2021, the United Nations said

The human rights abuses include 160 killings of former government officials and members of the security forces, and dozens of cases of torture, arbitrary arrests, and inhumane punishments. 

A new UN report was released this week detailing how 173 journalists and media workers were affected by abuses, including detention, threats, ill-treatment, and assault. It was published on the same day an Australian journalist said she had been detained in Kabul and forced to tweet a retraction of her reporting. 

The new UN report called the Human Rights in Afghanistan report, documented persistent allegations of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and torture and ill-treatment carried out by the “de facto authorities.” 

“De facto authorities” refers to the Taliban regime, which has not yet been recognized by any member of the international community, almost one year into its takeover. 

The UN said it was concerned about the impunity the Taliban has to have carried out human rights violations with. There has been a sweeping crackdown on critics of the Taliban, and mass targeting of media, protesting, and civil society activists. 

“The human rights situation has been compounded by the measures taken by the de facto authorities to stifle debate, curb dissent and limit the fundamental rights and freedoms of Afghans,” the report said. 

Between August 15, 2021, and June 2022, the armed conflict killed about 700 civilians and has injured more than 1,400. Most died in suicide bombing attacks by the Islamic State, or from un-exploded weapons left over from fighting in the past. 

The report also highlighted many inhuman punishments, as well as the killings of Afghans who were accused of so-called moral crimes, including having sex outside of marriage. 

The Taliban says the report is propaganda. 

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