Mother and four daughters ‘raped by Taliban’ in Panjshir: Sources

Panjshir province, Afghanistan. File photo.

Three sources from the local Taliban administration in Panjshir and two local residents told Amu that Taliban members have raped a woman and her four daughters in Khawak area in the province.

Taliban director of information and culture in Panjshir said the reports were just propaganda and that he was not aware of any such incident.

However, three sources among local Taliban officials in Panjshir, said that a group of Taliban members raided a house in Deh Khawak village in Paryan district at around 1am on Saturday and did rape the woman and her four daughters.

Two residents of Deh Khawak village said neighbors went towards the house when they heard the screams of the woman and her daughters. One neighbor told Amu that when he got to the house, he saw two under age girls unconscious on the ground, and their mother and two elder sisters were screaming.

The source said the women and her daughters were beaten up and “they had been raped.”

The neighbors of the family told Amu that the eldest daughter is 18 years old while the youngest daughter is 10.

Nasrullah Malikzada, Taliban’s director of information and culture in Panjshir, said in response to Amu’s message that he was not aware of the incident.

“Such a thing is not possible to have happened. We see it as Facebook propaganda. If it has happened, no doubt, perpetrators will be arrested and punished,” he added.

Two residents of Deh Khawak told Amu that the only man in the family is a shepherd. Sources said the man has also been “heavily beaten” by Taliban members.

After the incident, the man lodged a complaint with Taliban officials in Sar Qalat area in the district. Local sources said that he was first arrested but was released on Saturday evening on bail by a local representative in their village.

Sources from the Taliban and locals said the areas surrounding the house have been cordoned off by the Taliban and no one is allowed to visit it without permission from the group.

“The rapists have been deployed to another village from Khawak,” a security source from the Taliban in Panjshir said.

Meanwhile, one source from Taliban’s local administration in Panjshir said that the group assigned a four-member team on Saturday to probe the incident and deployed them to the area. The team consists of Mawlawi Qiyamuddin, head of Taliban for Panjshir ulema council, members of the Taliban intelligence and police command and a representative of the Taliban governor.

The head of the Taliban’s ulema council did not respond to Amu’s queries about the matter.

A former MP from Panjshir during the republic regime meanwhile confirmed the Taliban raid on the house and said the man is a poor person who moved to Khawak with his family from Baghlan province and that he farms and is a shepherd.

“At midnight, the Taliban knocked on his door first, but when they didn’t open, they broke the door down and forcibly entered the home,” the former MP, who chose to remain anonymous, said.

He added that the man’s phone has been switched off since Saturday morning and no one has been able to contact him so far.

Two local residents said that the Taliban warned the family and residents of the village to avoid speaking to anyone about the matter.

They said that the people are angry and that the Taliban will send another investigation team to the area on Sunday.

This comes after Taliban members have been accused of mistreating women, and in some cases, rape, sexual abuse and forced marriages in some parts of the country.

Last week, the European Parliament called the Taliban’s policy towards women gender apartheid.

Taliban spokesmen have often rejected such allegations.