Contrary To Its Vow, Taliban Has Started Executing Enemies
After the Taliban seized Afghanistan last month, the militant group made a point of issuing conciliatory words, with spokesman Suhail Shaheen speaking of a “new chapter” in the country, and a desire to provide its people with “prosperous lives.”
Photo Insert: The Taliban has assured change, but the various accounts state otherwise.
Another Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed at a press conference that anyone who “fought against us” – as well as the interpreters and contractors who supported Allied efforts over the past 20 years – would be pardoned.
He promised the Taliban is “committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia” law, and even committed to a “free and independent media.”
Two weeks on, worrying reports are already emerging about the Taliban's brutal rule in Afghanistan, Yahoo News UK senior reporter James Morris wrote.
A former Afghan special forces soldier claimed to the BBC on Tuesday that 15 of his colleagues have already been killed, forcing him and his family into hiding.
“Since the Taliban have come to power they haven't stopped killing," he was quoted as saying. The BBC also reported that two senior police officials have been executed by the Taliban.
The outlook appears similarly grim for Western allies such as interpreters who were left behind in Kabul as troops evacuated the country.
The Daily Mail has reported that armed Taliban soldiers are going door-to-door in search of the “traitors” who helped the British. One translator, Kaleem, told the paper: “No one believes the Taliban’s words of forgiveness… we provided the intelligence to fight against them.”
On Saturday, ITV reported the story of a man who was raped and beaten because he was gay. All these reports should come as no surprise, despite the Taliban's promises after seizing power.
On July 30, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported the Taliban was attacking critics despite claiming fighters had been ordered to act with restraint. Khasha Zwan was among those executed after "poking fun" at Taliban leaders, HRW said. “His murder and other recent abuses demonstrate the willingness of Taliban commanders to violently crush even the tamest criticism or objection,” it said.