Forces of the de facto Taliban government in Afghanistan committed “the war crime of collective punishment” against civilians in Panchir province, the non-governmental human rights group Amnesty International said in a report released today.

The text emphasizes that the organization documented “extrajudicial executions, torture, mass arbitrary arrests and detentions” of civilians the Taliban accused of supporting the armed opposition.

“After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, members of the former government’s security forces fled to Panchir with equipment and weapons and joined the National Resistance Front (NRF). The Taliban responded by retaliating against captured fighters and targeting the civilian population of Panchir to coerce compliance and submission,” the London-based NGO said in the report.

Panchir was the only province in Afghanistan in the 1990s, when the Taliban also took power, that offered resistance to their fundamentalist Sunni regime. Forces of the former government hoped to transform the Panchir Valley into a center of resistance to the Taliban again.

The general secretary of Amnesty International, Anies Kalamar, demands that the Taliban stop targeting civilians in the mountainous province and that the cases uncovered by her organization be investigated.

The text mentions many cases of extrajudicial executions and torture of both MEA fighters and civilians by the Taliban. Among the items listed are the locations and time periods of the deaths.

“Those who suffered atrocities in Panchir” and more broadly “all victims of Taliban crimes in Afghanistan deserve an end to impunity and a clear path to justice, truth and rehabilitation,” insists Ms. Kalamar.

The Taliban did not respond when the NGO asked them for clarification on the crimes it documented, the report states.