At least seven civilians, including a schoolteacher and a tribal elder, were arrested by the Taliban in Hese Awal Kohistan district in Kapisa province, after being accused of having links with the anti-Taliban resistance front.
According to sources, the arrests were random and none of the men have any ties with resistance groups.
Those detained include Jawed, Kazim, Mohammad Yar, Mohammad Sabir, Sayed Jan, Feroz and Ramish who are from four different villages in the district, sources said.
“We were having breakfast when the Taliban suddenly entered our house and beat up my brother without any reason, blindfolded him and took him away with them,” said a relative of one of the detainees who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mohammad Yar, a tribal elder in the area, and Jawed, a teacher, both recently returned from Iran.
The individuals had been arrested on suspicion of having ties with the anti-Taliban resistance front, but local sources said none of them had any links with any group and that they all are civilians.
One of the detainees, who has since been released, said on condition of anonymity that he had been “tortured” while in Taliban custody.
“I was arrested on charges of having ties with the resistance front. I was tortured by the Taliban intelligence and I was released after one month as they could not find any evidence,” he said.
The man added: “The Taliban searched our house, but did not find anything. They took me blindfolded to their intelligence office in Kapisa and I was beaten up three times a week. I was released after a month,” he said, adding however that he no longer has the full use of his legs.
The Taliban failed to comment, despite repeated attempts by Amu.
Dozens of civilians have been arrested in Kapisa, which is about 100 km north of Kabul, over the past year – with many reporting they were tortured while in custody. Some have even been shot.
Five months ago, a resident of Koh Band district in Kapisa died while in Taliban custody.
In August, three sources said the Taliban had started arresting many youths and former military personnel in the province. Many were arrested in Hese Awal and Hese Dowom districts in Kapisa. The arrests started after a Taliban outpost was attacked by the resistance front in Hese Awal district.