Over 500 killed in human rights incidents in Afghanistan in 2023, says watchdog

A human rights watchdog reports that at least 506 individuals were killed and another 266 were injured in human rights incidents in Afghanistan in 2023.

Rawadari, a human rights movement, disclosed that 365 people died in targeted attacks, mysterious and extrajudicial killings, 86 were killed in suicide bombings, and 55 others died in roadside bombings.

Rawadari’s report expresses alarm over the worsening human rights situation under the Taliban’s rule in 2023. According to Rawadari’s data, 82 employees of the former government were killed in targeted attacks or extrajudicial courts, including 68 military and 14 civilian personnel.

The report further underscores the Taliban’s arbitrary arrests, torture, mistreatment and murder of detainees, forced disappearances, and cruel punishments as significant human rights violations. It also points to a decline in access to information in 2022 compared to 2023, attributing this to Taliban measures aimed at restricting information on human rights abuses.

Specifically, the report mentions the Taliban’s efforts to prohibit smartphone use in Panjshir as a means to limit information dissemination about human rights violations.

Additionally, Richard Bennett, the UN special rapporteur for Afghanistan, in his recent report, emphasized serious concerns regarding the decline of human rights in Afghanistan, particularly affecting women and girls.

Taliban has not commented on Rawadari’s report, but it has rejected the findings of Bennett’s report on Afghanistan’s human rights situation.