• Staff

Taliban display escalating brutality across the country, including Hazarajat

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

In an apparent attempt to compensate for their failure to maintain domestic security so far, the Taliban have returned to the medieval forms of punishment they practiced during their last reign of terror in Afghanistan. Recently, they have announced the return of amputations and executions, including yesterday’s public hanging of four bodies in Herat (alleged, without trial, to be kidnappers). In the long run, such brutality will not reduce crime. History tells us that only increased trust between citizens and their government can do that, a difficult proposition when the Taliban engages in abuses nationwide such as the mass deportation of Hazara people from their homeland.

This past week, 800 Hazara families were forced to watch their homes burn as the Taliban destroyed their communities and scattered their people into the countryside. A significant minority group in Afghanistan, the Hazaras have long been a target of the Taliban's racism and intolerance. In acts amounting to genocide, the Taliban conducted large-scale murders of unarmed Hazaras in the 1990s, the worst of which saw the deaths of 15,000 civilians. Hazarajat—the mountainous central region of Afghanistan that is the Hazara homeland—was also cut off completely by the Taliban from international aid and human rights observers. We fear these recent acts are a test of the international community's resolve against a renewed ethnic cleansing campaign; silence now will guarantee the Taliban's intent to wipe the Hazara people off the map.

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