Panjshir farmer recounts summary killing of his brother by Taliban

A number of Panjshir residents have accused Taliban fighters of killing innocent civilians in the province for no apparent reason.

Family members and relatives of Hedayatullah, a 20-year-old man who was killed by the Taliban in the Parian district of the province last year, said that had been a farmer and had been no threat to anyone. 

Hedayatullah’s younger brother Noor Rahim told Amu TV that on May 15 last year, he and his brother were irrigating their fields when the Taliban arrived and shot Hedayatullah dead in front of him, and then beat him up. 

Noor Rahim stated that the Taliban killed his brother after accusing him of collaborating with the anti-Taliban resistance front. He said his brother was innocent and that Hedayatullah had no ties to the resistance front. 

Hedayatullah, who was from the Shalikcha area of the Parian district, left school in Grade 6 due to financial hardships and began cultivating his fields to support his family.

Residents, who wished to remain anonymous, also confirmed the deceased had been innocent of the accusations.

One Parian resident said: “Hedayatullah was busy in his fields when suddenly the Taliban came to him and shot him dead.”

He added the Taliban did not allow anyone to retrieve Hedayatullah’s body and beat up anyone who tried to. 

Another resident also stated that Noor Rahim sustained injuries after the Taliban beat him up and that the group would not allow anyone to take Hedayatullah’s body to the hospital.

Over the past year, the Taliban have carried out a campaign of arrests, torture, summary killings and forced evictions of civilians in the northern provinces, particularly in Panjshir and Andrab of Baghlan province.

According to reports, at least 66 civilians were killed in Andrab and 172 others killed in Panjshir over the past year. Women and children were also among the victims.

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennett said during his last trip to Afghanistan that the human rights situation in the country is deteriorating rapidly.

“I directly spoke to the witnesses. The situation seems to raise serious concerns about the violation of human rights and humanitarian laws, including summary killings. There are serious restrictions on people there. As much as, the farmer can’t go to his fields and the shepherd can’t go behind his flock,” Bennett said.