Panjshir residents detained by Taliban allegedly tortured and bribed

Panjshir province, Afghanistan. File photo.

Reports from Panjshir province in central Afghanistan indicate that the Taliban detained at least six individuals from Dara district in the past week and allegedly tortured them.

Three reliable sources within the province said these individuals were taken into custody from their homes, with the Taliban reportedly demanding weapons from their families in exchange for their release.

Although the sources provided information on six people, one source said that at least 10 individuals were detained, all of whom are from Dara district and are “civilians.”

It appears however that it’s a diverse group of people in custody – including elderly individuals, a school teacher, and a 17-year-old boy.

On July 28, Taliban intelligence detained two people named Gul Agha and Noor Mohammad, with Gul Agha eventually being released after approximately 24 hours in custody. However, no information has surfaced concerning Noor Mohammad’s current situation.

Subsequently, on July 31, Himmatullah, a school teacher, was arrested, only to be freed a day later. The sources indicate that Himmatullah’s father was also detained on August 2, but was released following the mediation of tribal leaders.

Continuing this unsettling pattern, on August 3, another Dara district resident named Abbas was arrested. Additionally, Ghulam, another individual from the area, was apprehended on August 4. There is no available information about the fate of either Abbas or Ghulam, sources said.

In the midst of these events, some district residents who wished not to be named conveyed their growing sense of insecurity within their own homes. Allegations persist that the Taliban’s intelligence arm is perpetually targeting civilians and harassing them.

At present, the Taliban has yet to respond to these allegations.

This concerning trend aligns with the United Nations’ findings, which have pointed out human rights violations in Panjshir province over the past two years. The Taliban, on the other hand, have consistently dismissed these reports and similar assessments from human rights organizations stating they are unsubstantiated allegations.