Amnesty International said in a new report that last month Taliban militants massacred nine Hazara men after taking control of Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
In the results of the investigation released on Thursday, witnesses recounted the killings that took place in Mundarakht village in the Maristan region from July 4th to 6th.These accounts undermine the Taliban’s Claim it has changed.
The Hazara community is the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, mainly Shia Muslims. They have long faced discrimination in Sunni-majority countries and had previously been persecuted by the Taliban.
According to a report from Amnesty International, six of them were shot and three were tortured to death. One of the men was strangled to death with a scarf and his arm muscles were cut off.
On July 3, the fighting between the Afghan government forces and the Taliban in Ghazni Province intensified. The villagers told the human rights watchdog that they fled into the mountains and came to the traditional ilks, their summer pastures, where they had basic shelters.
The 30 families who fled had almost no food. The next morning, on July 4, five men and four women returned to the village to collect supplies. Amnesty International said that when they returned, they found their house was looted and Taliban fighters were waiting for them.
According to the report, a 45-year-old man, Wahed Qaraman, was taken away from his home by Taliban militants. His leg and arm were broken, his right leg was shot, his hair was pulled out, and he was hit in the face with a blunt object. .
Another man, 63-year-old Jaffar Rahimi, was beaten and accused of working for the Afghan government after he found cash in his pocket. The Taliban strangled him with his scarf. The three people who buried Rahimi said that his body was covered with bruises and the muscles of his arms were also cut off.
Sayed Abdul Hakim, 40, was taken away from his home, beaten with clubs and butts, tied up with his arms, shot twice in the leg and twice in the chest .
A witness who assisted in the burial told Amnesty International: “We asked the Taliban why they did this, and they told us,’When there is a conflict, everyone will die. It doesn’t matter whether you have a gun or not. This is a time of war.’ “
During the two-day killing spree, the other three men-Ali Jan Tata (65), Zia Fakir Shah (23) and Ghulam Rasul Reza (53) )-While leaving Ilok, he was ambushed and killed at the Taliban checkpoint and tried to pass through Mundarakht to reach their home.
Ali Jan Tata was shot in the chest and Rasool was shot in the neck. According to witnesses, Zia Faqeer Shah’s chest was covered with bullets and he was buried in fragments.
Three other men were killed in their hometown. Witnesses told Amnesty International that Said Ahmed, 75, insisted that the Taliban would not harm him because he was an old man and he planned to go back to feed the cows. He was hit by two bullets in the chest, and another bullet hit his side and died.
When the Taliban took control of Mundarakht on July 3, the organization killed 28-year-old Zia Marefat, and when he walked alone to Ilok, he fired a shot at the temple. 45-year-old Karim Bakhsh Karimi was also shot, “head to death.”
Amnesty International said these killings may only account for a small percentage of the death toll caused by the Taliban because the organization has cut off mobile phone services in many areas they recently occupied and controlled photos and videos shared from these areas.
Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Karamad said, “The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban’s past records and a terrible indicator of what Taliban rule may bring.”
“These targeted killings prove that under the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, ethnic and religious minorities still face special risks,” Karamad said.
Amnesty International urges the UN Security Council to pass an emergency resolution requiring the Taliban to respect international human rights law.
It also called on the UN Human Rights Council to launch “a strong investigation mechanism to record, collect and preserve evidence of ongoing crimes and human rights violations.”
After seizing control of Kabul, the Taliban tried to portray themselves as a more moderate person than when they were ruthless in the 1990s. At a press conference on Tuesday, a Taliban spokesperson stated that the organization has no plans to carry out retaliatory attacks on anyone who had served in the previous government, cooperated with foreigners, or became a member of the national security forces.
But a confidential UN threat assessment report stated that fighters of the organization are looking for opponents and their families from house to house, and screening people on their way to Kabul airport.