UN Official Slams Taliban Over Reprisal Killings

The U.N. human rights chief says her office has received credible allegations of reprisal killings against former Afghan security forces, and cases in which some former officials in the previous government and their relatives were arbitrarily detained—and later turned up dead.

Michelle Bachelet, speaking Monday to the Human Rights Council, warned of a “new and perilous phase” for Afghanistan as she upbraided leaders of the Taliban terrorist group for a disconnect between their words and actions.

She cited “multiple” allegations of Taliban forces conducting house-to-house searches looking for specific officials in the previous government and “people who cooperated with U.S. security forces and companies.”

Such searches, carried out in at least a half-dozen cities, also at time affected U.N. staffers who have also reported increasing attacks and threats, she said, without providing specifics.

“My office has received credible allegations of reprisal killings of a number of former ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) personnel, and reports of officials, who worked for previous administrations and their family members being arbitrarily detained,” she said. “In some cases, the officials were released, and in others, they were found dead.”

Bachelet also highlighted “deeply troubling information” about Taliban raids on offices of some advocacy groups.

“Importantly, and in contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere,” she told the 47-member council as it opened its autumn session.

She said girls aged over 12 had been barred from attending school in some places, and “Women’s Affairs” departments had been at times dismantled.