The Afghanistan Bulletin
Under Taliban Rule, Horrors of 1990’s Afghanistan Return: Humanitarian Crises, Human Rights Atrocities, Public Executions, Massive Rollback of Women’s Rights
In the weeks following the US withdrawal, the Taliban ignored pleas from nearly all internal and external stakeholders to form an inclusive and participatory government. Instead, they formed a government run solely by its own members, many of whom are on US or UN terrorist blacklists and one of whom is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. While the regime is focused on rolling back the gains of the past twenty years, the country faces several dire humanitarian crises. Millions of internally displaced persons (IDP’s) are stuck without the means to return home. The healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. And there is massive food insecurity due to inflation and the near-freezing of the banking system.
In addition to the immediate humanitarian crises, Afghans also face an assault on their human rights by the Taliban. In Panjshir, where the Taliban launched a major offensive earlier this month, all the food, supply, and communication lines have been cut off. Taliban fighters have carried out extrajudicial killings, forced evacuations, and mass detention of civilians under the pretext of association with the National Resistance Front (NRF). In another ethnically motivated action, Taliban fighters in Daikundi Province ordered nearly 2,400 residents of a Hazara dominated community to leave their homes, confiscating their fertile lands and redistributing them to Taliban affiliated groups.
These forced displacements follow widespread public protests that erupted earlier this month in the city center of Kandahar after the Taliban announced it was forcibly evicting thousands of residents who live in housing provided to them by the Afghan government. More than 3,000 families were asked to leave the residential area, which is predominantly occupied by families of retired army generals and employees of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Public executions to enforce draconian legal punishments issued by Taliban courts have also been reinstituted. In Herat, the Taliban hanged the dead bodies of four alleged kidnappers in four different corners of the city. Taliban officials told local media that the four were killed in a shoot-out after allegedly kidnapping a local businessman. The bodies were hanged to deter would-be criminals, according to Taliban officials.
The rights and freedoms of women and girls have been severely restricted under Taliban rule. Despite promises to allow women and girls to continue their education, the Taliban has prohibited secondary schooling for girls. When schools across the country recently reopened, the Taliban opened them for male teachers and students only. They claim the ban on female education will last until there is a “safe Islamic environment” in place, though Afghans fear the ban could be permanent. Earlier this month, a top Taliban official indicated that women will be banned from playing sports, arguing that it’s not “necessary” or “appropriate” for women to do so.
Coinciding with the teardown of women’s rights, the Taliban has shut down the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. The ministry’s 1000 mostly female employees are now banned from returning to work. The ministry has been replaced with the infamous Ministry of Virtue and Vice, the regime’s religious police. When the Taliban were last in power, its religious police enforced a barbaric interpretation of Sharia law that included, the same public executions, amputations, floggings, and stoning we are seeing a resurgence of today.
DPPC Supports the Taliban Recognition Prevention Act and Others Like It to Block US and International Recognition of the Taliban
The Taliban Recognition Prevention Act, introduced by Congressman John Curtis (R-UT) in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to bar the Biden administration from supporting any kind of recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate governing body in Afghanistan.
The DPPC supports this bill and others like it that blocks the US and international recognition of the Taliban regime following its violent overthrow of the Afghan Government and ongoing oppression of the Afghan people.
“The Taliban’s hostile takeover of Afghanistan has brought nothing but pain, suffering, and subjugation of innocent men, women, and children,” said Martin Rahmani, Executive Director of the DPPC. “Any official recognition of the Taliban would constitute a complete moral failure. The United States must lead the way in ensuring the Taliban’s human rights abuses and terrorism are not legitimized or tolerated.”