UN rights chief expresses concern over civilian casualties in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (File photo)

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 15 (ANI): UN Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet on Monday said that she is worried about reports of civilian casualties and human rights violations in Afghanistan’s Panjshir province.
“I am worried about reports of civilian casualties and human rights violations as an outcome of the war in Panjshir and also am worried about the increasing hardship of living conditions there,” Bachelet was quoted as saying by Tolo News.
Speaking at UN meeting on Afghanistan in Geneva, the rights chief also raised concerns over the Taliban’s reprisals against employees of the former government and said non-government organisations and civil society organisations offices have also been attacked.
“We have received worrying information about the Taliban’s raids on some NGOs and civil society groups’ offices,” she said.
Bachlet’s statement comes as reports have emerged that people are being killed in Panjshir and are being forced to leave their houses.
“The forceful migration of Panjshir people has caused the people to leave their houses and go to other provinces,” said Nawida Azizi, a resident of Panjshir.
“They announced a general amnesty, but they violated the amnesty and human rights and killed innocent people,” said Sahil Arman, another resident of Panjshir.
Despite reports of killings, the Taliban, however, rejected the allegations and asked the UN to take a “closer look”.
“We strongly reject the report of Human Rights Watch, which says that the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have committed war crimes against humanity. The organization should not fall prey to the misinformation of the enemy and should not prepare such false reports based on it. They need to take a closer look at the area and find out the facts for themselves,” Tolo News quoted Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid as saying.
Earlier, the Taliban had announced its caretaker government in Kabul after US military withdrawal from Afghanistan was completed.
Kabul fell to the Taliban on August 15, when internationally recognised former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani left the country and his government collapsed. The seizure of power has forced thousands of Afghans to flee for fear of reprisals from the outfit. (ANI)