Taliban targeting people who worked with US, NATO forces: UN Report

The Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan last week, are reportedly targeting the people and their families who had helped and worked with the US and NATO troops, a confidential document by the UN’s threat assessment consultants pointed

Aug 20, 2021
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Taliban fighters

The Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan last week, are reportedly targeting the people and their families who had helped and worked with the US and NATO troops, a confidential document by the UN’s threat assessment consultants pointed.

According to an AFP report, the group has “priority lists” of individuals it wants to apprehend.

The report also said that the Taliban are screening people who are trying to reach Hamid Karzai International Airport, the only window currently functional to get out of the country. Tens of thousands of people have reached Kabul since the last week as the Taliban toppled the US-backed Afghan government on Sunday. 

Thousands of interpreters and aid workers who worked with NATO and the US in their 20 years long stay in Afghanistan are now at risk of facing retribution at the hands of the Taliban. 

Although the group has announced a general amnesty for all those workers who had worked for what they called “enemies”, multiple reports say the group’s fighters are still searching people door to door in several cities, including in Kabul. Relatives of several people, who made it abroad, took to Twitter, informing how the Taliban were searching their homes back in Kabul despite assurances from the group’s top leadership.

Mullah Yakub, one of the most powerful leaders and head of their military commission, released an audio asking their fighters not to search people’s homes for now. 

The Norwegian Center for Global Analysis, an organization that provides intelligence to UN agencies, provided the document to the UN on 18 August. 

“They are targeting the families of those who refuse to give themselves up, and prosecuting and punishing their families ‘according to the Sharia Law’” Christian Nellemann, the group’s executive director, was quoted as saying by AFP.

The report also warned, “This will further jeopardize Western intelligence services, their networks, methods, and ability to counter both the Taliban and the ISIS and other terrorist threats ahead.”

The quick collapse of the Afghan government left thousands of intelligence workers and officers of the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the intelligence agency of the now collapsed Afghan government. Their operatives are in hiding now as the Taliban fighters are on the lookout.  

Journalists are also reportedly being beaten or tortured. One of the journalists, who was working with DW news, was killed on Wednesday,  the news channel confirmed. Those covering protests against the Taliban in Khost and Jalalabad, the two eastern cities, were also badly tortured by the group. 

Afghan national media, though, operating relatively free, there still appears a sign of either self-imposed censorship or enforced by the group. They have either stopped or diluted the coverage of anti-Taliban protests, which are now spreading to many cities. 

Furthermore, the group is carefully using the national media to convey their image of Taliban 2.0 as their leaders give assurances that women will have the right to continue their studies and get an education. However, several female journalists, working with the state-owned media networks, were turned back from their offices by Taliban fighters. 

(SAM) 

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