The UN calls on the Taliban to stop using force and to arrest peaceful protesters.
The United Nations has condemned the Taliban’s escalation of violence against peace activists in Afghanistan, as members of the group used bullets, sticks and whips, killing four protesters.
“We call on the Taliban to end the use of force immediately, and arrest those who are exercising their rights at the peace conference and the journalists who are protesting,” Ravina Shamdasani, the UN’s spokeswoman for the UN, told a conference in Geneva on Friday, adding that reports indicate housing for those who participated in the demonstrations.
Shamdasani also said journalists faced threats. “One journalist said he was told, as he was being beaten in the head that you were lucky you were not beheaded,” he said.
More and more protests have taken place around the world since the Taliban seized power on August 15 abruptly as lightning swept away the western government of former President Ashraf Ghani as US troops withdrew from the country after nearly 20 years of war.
The group – which has killed people in stadiums and cut off the hands of thieves in their previous regime from 1996 to 2001 – has repeatedly offered little control. But they have shown clear signs that they will not stand up for anyone who opposes their rule.
Tuesday and Wednesday, hundreds of demonstrations went to the street of Kabul’s capital is chanting anti-Pakistan rhetoric and calling for “freedom” as many Afghans fear the new government will actively attack women’s rights and media freedom.
The last protesters came to the Taliban after announcing the merger provisional government ruled by members of an ancient group, without women.
Shamdasani also reported reports of Taliban beatings and arrests in Kabul this week, along with several women and 15 journalists.
Photos sent by the local newspaper Etilaatroz show evidence of whipped and beaten and the ropes that her two reporters – Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi – heard of her arrest during a protest rally.
Daryabi’s lower back, upper legs, and face were covered with deep red sores. Naqdi’s left hand, upper back, upper legs, and face were also covered with red welts. The two witnesses, who spoke to Al Jazeera on Thursday, said the male defendant had left one of the cells “walking”.
Following the hundreds of demonstrations in Herat, two bodies were brought to the city’s main hospital from the protests, a doctor told the AFP news agency to remain anonymous for fear of repatriation.
“They all have bullet wounds,” he said.
The Taliban also moved to resolve other civil unrest on Wednesday, saying the protests would need to be approved by the Ministry of Justice.
Such a decision was in stark contrast to the earlier ruling by the ruling party which promised that journalists would continue to be free and independent.
The next day, he ordered mobile phone manufacturers not to shut down the internet in some parts of Kabul, Shamdasani said.