Afghanistan Human Rights Commission Reports Increase in Arrests, Torture & Killings of Former Afghan Government Troops by Taliban


The latest: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has stated that there has been an increase in the number of arrests, torture and killings of former government troops by the Taliban in different parts of the country.


Go deeper:

  • The commission issued a statement citing videos posted on social media saying that the Taliban “cruelly” detained and tortured the former government’s military forces and then “mercilessly” with “very painful” means and methods killed them.
  • According to its findings, the former military forces currently remaining in the country are in “hiding” for fear of being detained by the Taliban.
  • According to the rights group, the Taliban identify and arrest the former security forces members with the help of biometric information.
  • The Human Rights Commission has also claimed that some governments in the region use these military forces of the former Afghan government as combat forces in “regional” wars. The Independent Human Rights Commission has expressed concern about the recruitment of these forces by other countries to send them to war zones, such as Ukraine. The Human Rights Commission has directly asked NATO member states to “make a just and acceptable decision regarding the soldiers and victims of the biggest war in their history and save them and their families from suffering”.
  • However, the Human Rights Commission has called on NATO to be held accountable for the “painful fate” of its allies.
  • “The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) called on all governments that fought in Afghanistan for the purposes of fighting terrorism and recently left their allies alone with irresponsibility to be held accountable for their decisions and against the painful fate of their allies,” the statement added.
  • It urged NATO member states to facilitate the resettlement of these soldiers to other countries.
  • Earlier, human rights organizations had expressed concerns about the Taliban’s arrest, torture and killing of military forces, but these claims have always been denied by the Taliban.


Back story: Human Rights Watch said data from biometric devices has put the lives of thousands of Afghans at risk. These devices, which contain sensitive information about former government employees, are used by the Taliban.

  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued a report in August 2022 detailing numerous cases of killings or disappearances committed by Taliban forces since August 2021. It is not always possible to discern those killed were former government personnel or alleged ISKP.
  • In numerous cases over the year, Taliban forces conducted military operations and night raids targeting residents they accuse of harboring or providing support for ISKP members. During many operations, soldiers assaulted civilians and detained people without due process. Detainees were forcibly disappeared or killed, in some cases by beheading. In some provinces, Taliban authorities dumped bodies in public areas or hung bodies on streets or intersections as warnings.
  • In late 2021 and into 2022, residents in Nangarhar exhumed a mass grave in a canal that contained at least 45 bodies in various stages of decomposition, many with signs of torture or brutal executions: some had missing limbs, ropes around their necks, or had been beheaded.
  • In Panjshir province, the Taliban carried out search operations targeting communities they alleged were supporting the armed opposition group National Resistance Front (NRF), detaining and torturing local residents.
  • Apart form this, another rights group, Rawadari, report added that 210 people—primarily consisting of employees of the security institutions of the previous government, judges, defense lawyers, human rights defenders, prosecutors, individuals affiliated with popular uprisings, former staff of the government and non-government institutions, and civilian citizens accused of collaborating with the ISIS group and the Resistance Front—have been systematically and purposefully killed and wounded during one year of Taliban rule.


Zoom out: This comes even as in the latest case, sources in Ghazni said that the Taliban intelligence directorate arrested Omar Khan Andar, a former police officer in Andar District, and moved him to an unknown location.

  • Khan had been detained 15 days ago from the village of Knessp, sources said on Monday and has been tortured by the Taliban official ever since. According to sources, Taliban intelligence sent messages to former military forces member via messaging applications and thereby tried to arrest him.
  • Taliban intelligence official in Ghazni told Omar Khan’s family that he is being held, but has not commented on his whereabouts.
  • He was on duty in Laghman at the time of the fall of the previous government, but was later released. After the fall of the Republican regime, he remained in the hope of amnesty and chose a freelance job.
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