TEHERAN, September 14. /TASS/. The Taliban (banned in Russia), who seized power in Afghanistan, rejected accusations of alleged war crimes brought forward by Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international non-governmental organization, the TOLOnews TV channel said on Tuesday.
Taliban Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid stated that the group strongly rejected HRW’s report, according to which, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate (the name the Taliban call themselves) allegedly committed war crimes. He noted that the NGO "should not misrepresent its own information." "They need to take a closer look at the sites and find out the facts [of what was happening in the Afghan provinces] for themselves," Mujahid, who was appointed Deputy Minister of Culture and Information, noted.
In early August, HRW released a report claiming that the Taliban executed detained soldiers, police officers and civilians allegedly linked to the Afghan government during their attacks on Afghan provinces, including Ghazni and Kandahar, without due process. "Summarily executing anyone in custody, whether a civilian or combatant, is a serious violation of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime," HRW’s Associate Director of Asian Division Patricia Gossman said.
The Taliban launched a large-scale operation to establish control over Afghanistan after the US had announced its intention to withdraw its forces in the spring. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, with Afghanistan’s then President Ashraf Ghani subsequently fleeing the country. Taliban Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced the new interim government on September 7.