FILE: Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.

KABUL, Afghanistan – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a report Wednesday, outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover last August.

The report summarizes UNAMA’s findings with regards to the protection of civilians, extrajudicial killings, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detentions, the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, fundamental freedoms and the situation in places of detention.

Despite a significant reduction in armed conflict, UNAMA recorded 2106 civilian casualties between mid-August 2021 and mid-June 2022. The majority of civilian casualties were attributed to targeted attacks by the ISIL against ethnic and religious minority communities.

“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict,” said Markus Potzel, Acting Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “Our monitoring reveals that despite the improved security situation since 15 August, the people of Afghanistan, in particular women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights.”

While the Taliban leadership have taken some steps seemingly aimed at the protection and promotion of human rights, including amnesty for former government officials and security force members, they bear responsibility for a broad range of human rights violations, according to the findings.

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The erosion of women’s rights has been one of the most notable aspects of the de facto administration, where women and girls have particularly been restricted from obtaining education and living a normal public life in the country.

“The education and participation of women and girls in public life is fundamental to any modern society. The relegation of women and girls to the home denies Afghanistan the benefit of the significant contributions they have to offer. Education for all is not only a basic human right, it is the key to progress and development of a nation,” said the UN envoy.

But the Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, defying the latest findings by the UNAMA, said the report is “inaccurate” and there are no extrajudicial killings, as TOLOnews reported. If anyone commits such, they will be punished based on Sharia law, calling the report a “propaganda.”

UNAMA’s Key Findings for the Period 15 August 2021 – 15 June 2022:

  • 2106 civilian casualties (700 killed, 1406 wounded) predominantly caused by improvised explosive device (IED) attacks attributed to ISIL-KP and unexploded ordnance (UXO). 
  • 160 extrajudicial killings, 178 arbitrary arrests and detentions, 23 instances of incommunicado detention and 56 instances of torture and ill-treatment of former ANDSF and government officials carried out by the de facto authorities.
  • 59 extrajudicial killings, 22 arbitrary arrests and detentions and 7 incidents of torture and ill-treatment by the de facto authorities of individuals accused of affiliation with self-identified “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province”.
  • 18 extrajudicial killings, 54 instances of torture and ill-treatment and 113 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention and 23 cases of incommunicado detention of individuals accused of affiliation with self-identified “National Resistance Front”. 
  • 217 instances of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments carried out by the de facto authorities since 15 August 2021
  • 118 instances of excessive use of force by the de facto authorities between 15 August 2021 and 15 June 2022.
  • Human rights violations affecting 173 journalists and media workers, 163 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities. Among these were 122 instances of arbitrary arrest and detention, 58 instances of ill-treatment, 33 instances of threats and intimidation and 12 instances of incommunicado detention. Six journalists were also killed during the period (five by self-identified Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province, one by unknown perpetrators).
  • Human rights violations affecting 65 human rights defenders, 64 of which were attributed to the de facto authorities. Among these were 47 arbitrary arrests, 17 cases of incommunicado detention, 10 cases of ill-treatment and 17 cases of threats and intimidation.

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