Taliban district governor accused of ‘murdering’ two women in Samangan

Samangan province, Afghanistan. File photo.

Two women were killed in Samangan province in the north of Afghanistan allegedly on the orders of Mullah Shamshad, Taliban’s district governor for Roi Do Ab district in the province, sources said.

Some residents of the district told Amu that Taliban members loyal to Shamshad had “raped” a woman named Anisa and when she lodged a complaint with the provincial district governor’s office, she was “beheaded” by her brother, who is a Taliban member.

“The woman lodged a complaint to the government. She got pregnant before marriage. After returning home from the district governor’s compound, her brother, who is a Taliban member, killed her with a knife,” said a resident.

Another resident said that the woman was arrested after she lodged the complaint. She was then released on the grounds of her being pregnant. She was told to appear in court after her baby was born, said the resident.

“Mullah Shamshad’s forces had raped the woman. Shamshad then imprisoned the woman. Then she was released…,” the resident explained.

Local sources said the killing happened on Dec. 14, 2022.

Another woman who was also allegedly killed by Taliban members close to Shamshad was Amina, a midwife in the district.

A tribal elder in Roi Do Aab district in Samangan said Amina had been accused of having an affair with one of Shamshad’s forces who used to go to the health center in Qala-e-Surkh village where he harassed the women.

He said that residents of the village complained about the Taliban member’s behavior, which led to Shamshad allegedly ordering the killing of Amina.

“Taliban (members) used to go to the health centers and harass women. People complained about this. Mawlawi Shamshad asked the doctor (midwife) about the matter and she responded yes, the people are harassed. The district governor slapped the doctor (midwife) and told her that she is defaming the mujahideen. The midwife was killed the same night,” said the tribal elder.

Sources in Samangan said that after complaints, Shamshad went to one of his close aides known as Khairuddin who was the midwife’s neighbor and asked him to get Amina out of her house.

“They told the woman to leave her house. Then she was shot dead. Shamshad warned the people they would also be killed if they spoke out about the incident,” the source said.

Another resident of Sorkh Qala village said Amina was killed after her photo with a Taliban commander was posted on social media.

“Amina was working in the vaccination department of the Sorkh Qala clinic. I don’t know what the issue was. Their photo was leaked. The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) held them responsible and then she was killed one evening. The neighbors heard five or six gunshots that evening. Her family told us that she died of a cardiac problem,” said the source.

Local residents said the incident happened on Dec. 13.

Samangan residents say Shamshad was behind the killings of the two women. They also said that Qari Anis and Bismillah, two of Shamshad’s bodyguards, as well as Amina’s brother, Samadullah, were involved in the killing of the two women.

They added that the Taliban in Samangan are trying to keep the two murder cases out of court.

Photos received by Amu show a Taliban member in a military uniform with two women.

Sources said the man is Qari Anis, Shamshad’s guard.

Eight residents of the area, including a tribal elder in Roi Do Aab district, who all want to remain anonymous, confirmed that the two murders had been conducted by the Taliban members.

Shamshad did not respond to Amu’s calls.

Mawlawi Muneeb, Taliban’s director of information and culture in Samangan, rejected the allegations and said the photos – seen by Amu – had been photoshopped.

“I have followed the matter closely, and it is not true. I will continue to follow it,” said Muneeb.

This comes after the Taliban’s supreme leader announced last month that capital punishment and other punishments in accordance with Sharia must be implemented against people convicted of crimes.

So far, the group has flogged at least 210 men and women in public after they were found guilty in Taliban courts of various crimes across the country in only a month.