Civilians in parts of northern Afghanistan have been illegally arrested and tortured by Taliban forces for associating with a rival group, according to a human rights organization.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), an American-based organization, said that civilians had been caught up in the Taliban’s efforts in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province to combat attacks on Taliban forces in the region. Citizens have been accused of aiding the Taliban opposition forces, according to the Associated press.
“Taliban forces have committed summary executions and enforced disappearances of captured fighters and other detainees, which are war crimes,” HRW said.
Much of the opposition to the Taliban in the Panjshir valley has come from those left who were part of Afghanistan’s security forces, following the Taliban’s taking over the country during President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of American forces.
Due to the opposition in the region, the Taliban has lashed out at civilians, Patricia Gossman of HRW said.
“Taliban forces in Panjshir province have quickly resorted to beating civilians in their response to fighting against the opposition National Resistance Front,” she said. “The Taliban’s longstanding failure to punish those responsible for serious abuses in their ranks puts more civilians at risk.”
The Taliban has said that they will not let anyone “disrupt security” in Panjshir, and detainees told HRW that the Taliban had detained and roughed up about 80 people looking for intelligence. They still have 10 locked up for alleged connections to a Taliban rival group.
“Taliban forces in Panjshir have imposed collective punishment and disregarded protections to which detainees are entitled,” Gossman stated. “This is just the latest example of Taliban abuses during fighting in the region.”
The country was thrown into chaos last August when the U.S. completed a hasty and sloppy withdrawal from the country, which ended with a collapse of the American-supported Afghan government and the mass evacuation of around 70,000 Afghans to the U.S.
The Biden administration is still working to bring more Afghan refugees to the U.S. NBC reported this week that, “the U.S. government indirectly pays an airline controlled by the Taliban regime to ferry Afghan refugees out of Kabul.” It is not known how much money is being shelled out by the government for the operation.
Also during the frantic withdrawal, around $7 billion worth of military equipment and supplies were also left in the country, according to the Pentagon. American servicemen were also the subject of a terror attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport when a suicide bomber killed 13 Americans and injured at least 18 more.