Panjshir women demand justice after Taliban shot Afghan woman

A group of women from Panjshir province in Afghanistan have expressed their demand for justice after the killing of a woman by Taliban forces. A woman trying to bring food to her husband in Panjshir Abshar district was shot dead by a Taliban sniper earlier this week, local media reported.

Afghan women have been protesting against the Taliban for violations of their rights and removal of women from government institutions since they took control of Afghanistan last August. Taliban atrocities against Afghan women have steadily increased since the organization seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, barring young girls and women from humanitarian rights.

The Taliban issued a new diktat on Monday against female employees and told them to send male relatives as replacements. With regular reports of the use of torture and extrajudicial executions of civilians by the Taliban, serious human rights violations in the region have created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust.

Earlier, in June, a London-based rights group raised concerns over reports of unlawful killings and arbitrary arrests in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province. “There are constant reports of arbitrary arrests and unlawful killings of civilians by the Taliban in Panjshir. The events of the past two weeks leave little room for doubt about the growing number of extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests committed by the Taliban,” said Zaman Sultani, South Asia researcher at Amnesty International.

The Amnesty researcher said in a statement that these serious human rights violations create a climate of fear and mistrust in the region and violate international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes. Although the Taliban has dismissed any reports of civilian deaths, these incidents are accompanied by a lack of accountability within the Taliban base.

As the country’s de facto authorities, rights groups have called on the Taliban to take immediate steps to carry out thorough, impartial and independent investigations into these incidents and prosecute those responsible for the torture, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions, according to rights groups. “To ensure accountability, transparency, and to protect civilians from torture, arbitrary arrests, and enforced disappearances, the Taliban must release information about everyone who has been arrested or detained and allow detainees to communicate with their families.”

On June 12, the Taliban shot and killed Murzataza, a resident of Khesa-Awal district of Panjshir who also suffered from mental illness. Before that, the spokesman for the Taliban governor of Panjshir province, in a video statement to the media, said that less than 40 people had been arrested. In Panjshir, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, an armed group fighting against the Taliban, has a strong presence.

According to Sultani, the events of the past two weeks leave little room for doubt about the increase in extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests committed by the Taliban. (ANI)

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Elna M. Lemons