Western nations, led by the United States, on Saturday blasted the Taliban over “summary killings” and forced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces reported by rights groups.
This comes a week after Human Rights Watch released a 25-page report documenting the killing or disappearance of former military personnel, police, intelligence service members, and militia.
“We are deeply concerned by reports of summary killings and enforced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces as documented by Human Rights Watch and others,” read a joint statement by 22 nations, including the US, France, Germany, and Japan.
“We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty,” the group said, adding that the reported cases should be investigated “promptly and in a transparent manner.”
The Islamist fundamentalists swept to power in Afghanistan in August as the US-backed government collapsed following a withdrawal of foreign troops.
The militant group proclaimed an amnesty for former members of the Afghan National Security Forces who had either surrendered or been apprehended between mid-August and October.
“We will continue to measure the Taliban by their actions,” the group of nations said.
Afghanistan’s new rulers have been seeking international recognition for their rule.
But UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Taliban’s desire for recognition is the only leverage other countries have if they want to press for respect for human rights in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch said in its report that after taking over, the Taliban leadership directed surrendering security personnel to register with authorities to receive a letter guaranteeing their safety.
“However, Taliban forces have used these screenings to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear people within days after they register, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find,” the rights group said in a statement last week.
“The Taliban have also carried out abusive search operations, including night raids, to apprehend and, at times, forcibly disappear suspected former officials,” it added.
AFP contributed to this report.