19 April, 2024

Joint Intl Statement Issued Over Concerns of HRW Findings

The governments of the United States, European Union, and 20 other countries in a joint statement on Saturday expressed their concerns over the “summary killings and enforced disappearance” in Afghanistan reported by the Human Rights Watch HRW.

The joint statement is released by the United States of America, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

The countries said that they are concerned by the findings of the HRW report about the alleged killings and disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces.

“We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty,” the statement reads.

The statement also has called on the Islamic Emirate to enforce the amnesty for former Afghan security forces and government officials and ensure that it is upheld across the country by all their file and ranks.

“Reported cases must be investigated promptly and in a transparent manner, those responsible must be held accountable, and these steps must be clearly publicized as an immediate deterrent to further killings and disappearances,” reads the statement.

The countries have said they will continue to judge the Taliban by their actions.

The Islamic Emirate responded to the joint statement–and the HRW report to which the statement refers–saying the allegations of the killings of former security forces are not true and the Islamic Emirate is ready to cooperate with any kind of investigation.

Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, said: “We reject the claims about killings of the former administration security forces. There is no evidence for it.” He added: “People should speak responsibly on international platforms and cite evidence, not make claims based on rumor and propaganda.”

In late November, HRW in a report said “more than 100 Afghan former security members” in the four provinces of Kandahar, Helmand, Ghazni and Kunduz were “killed or disappeared” in less than three months since the collapse of the former government.

“The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing former Afghan security force members,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director of the Human Rights Watch. “The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account, and compensate the victims’ families.”

The Islamic Emirate, however, rejected the report and said if HRW has any documents and proof, it can share it with the Islamic Emirate to arrest those responsible for the killings.

“We reject this report, if they own documents proving the issue, they can share them with us so we can arrest and legally act against the criminals. The Islamic Emirate never chased or killed former security forces. Some former military forces may have lost lives as a result of personal hostility,” said Saeed Khosti, the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior.

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