Amnesty slams Tal­iban ‘reign of terror’ in Kun­duz

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Amnesty In­ter­na­tional Thurs­day con­demned the Tal­iban’s “reign of terror” in the em­bat­tled Afghan city of Kun­duz, cit­ing civil­ian tes­ti­monies of mass mur­der, gang rapes and house-to-house searches by mil­i­tant death squads.

The Tal­iban’s stun­ning cap­ture of the north­ern city on Mon­day ex­posed Afghan civil­ians to grave risk, with Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani ac­cus­ing the in­sur­gents of us­ing them as hu­man shields.

In a new state­ment, Amnesty cat­a­logued a num­ber of other atroc­i­ties in­clud­ing rape, ab­duc­tion and mur­der of nu­mer­ous civil­ians.

The mil­i­tants have a “hit list” and use young boys to help con­duct house-to-house searches to track down their tar­gets, es­pe­cially women, the group said cit- ing rights de­fend­ers.

It ac­cused fight­ers of rap­ing fe­male rel­a­tives and killing fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing chil­dren, of po­lice com­man­ders and sol­diers.

“The har­row­ing ac­counts we’ve re­ceived paint a pic­ture of a reign of terror dur­ing the Tal­iban’s bru­tal cap­ture of Kun­duz this week,” said Amnesty’s Afghanistan re­searcher Ho­ria Mosadiq.

“The mul­ti­ple cred­i­ble re­ports of killings, rapes and other hor­rors meted out against the city’s res­i­dents must prompt the Afghan author­i­ties to do more now to pro­tect civil­ians.”

Civil­ians have paid a heavy price with the cap­ture of Kun­duz, the first pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal to fall to the mil­i­tants since they were top­pled from power in a 2001 U. S.- led in­va­sion of Afghanistan.

Pre­cise losses in the fight­ing are not known but so far 49 bod­ies and more than 370 wounded peo­ple have been brought to the city hos­pi­tals, ac­cord­ing to health of­fi­cials.

The wounded in­cluded 64 chil­dren, med­i­cal char­ity Doc­tors With­out Borders (MSF) said, adding that its trauma cen­ter in Kun­duz has been op­er­at­ing “be­yond ca­pac­ity.”

The Tal­iban re­leased all male pris­on­ers held in Kun­duz prison and gave them arms to fight against gov­ern­ment forces, Amnesty said, adding that fe­male pris­on­ers were raped and beaten.

A lo­cal mid­wife was gan­graped and then killed along with another col­league as fight­ers ac­cused them of pro­vid­ing re­pro­duc­tive health ser­vices to women, the state­ment quoted a rel­a­tive as say­ing.

“When the Tal­iban as­serted their con­trol over Kun­duz, they claimed to be bring­ing law and or­der and (Is­lamic) sharia to the city,” a fe­male rights de­fender told Amnesty.

“But ev­ery­thing they’ve done has vi­o­lated both. I don’t know who can res­cue us from this sit­u­a­tion.”

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