Taliban Spreads Panic in Central Afghanistan: Arrests, Tortures and Extortions Intensify in Behsud, Maidan Wardak
For the past two weeks, the Taliban have been harassing the residents of Behsud of Maidan Wardak province on charges of vague and baseless pretexts. Local sources claim that the Taliban have recently arrested, tortured and extorted a large sum of money from the residents of Hesa-i-Awal and Markazi Bihsud districts. According to the residents, in most cases, the Taliban detains residents of the two districts of Maidan Wardak on charges of collaborating with Abdul Ghani Alipour, a former local commander. The detainees are being tortured and beaten “to death.”
Sources, citing the released detainees’ statements say that the Taliban rebels have brutally tortured them, adding that they refused to appear to the media due to fear of being persecuted by the Taliban. The source added that the Taliban are detaining most of the youth. For this reason, the majority of young people who have nothing to do with the previous regime or local commanders have fled their homes and villages to escape the possible tortures by the Taliban rebels.
Sources add that the Taliban have arrested even ordinary people who have not been involved in any military activities and have for the sack of forcing them to reveal and spy on the residents concerning any left over weapons and military equipment. . Twelve shopkeepers have been forced to pay a fine of 100,000 to 150,000 AFN for collaborating with Alipour in just one market, in the Central Behsud district, where there are about 15 shops only.
According to sources, the Taliban have also arrested more than 15 youths in the Hesa-i-Awal Behsud district in recent days that have no history of cooperating with Alipour, and their fate is still unknown. Sources say that in most cases, local Taliban officials are unaware of the arrests, and the operation is organized from the provincial capital, where they say people are treated “with complete violence.”
Sources say locals are fed up with Taliban oppression, coercion and tyranny in the two districts of Behsud in Maidan Wardak province, but are unable to speak to the media regarding the Taliban’s crimes and barbaric ethnic based violation of human rights due fear of retaliation. Sources add that the Taliban based in Behsud are threatening the people to remain silent and have promised to end these disputes through talks with Taliban senior members. Contrary to this promise, the Taliban’s treatment of residents in the Hesa-i-Awal and Markazi Behsud districts has intensified over the past two weeks.
On the other hand, sources add that the nomads are harassing the local ancient residents these days, contrary to their promise. According to a decision reached between residents of Behsud and Kuchis (Nomads) in the presence of local Taliban seniors, Kuchis are only allowed to go to areas under their control, but according to a source, armed Kuchis are pouring into different parts of Behsud districts these days. They have plundered the properties and agricultural lands.. Other sources confirm this, saying that the issue has once again sparked a dispute between nomads and local villigers.
There are several similar reports from diffierent parts of the country that the Taliban are reportedly detaining and beating the civilians. According to local sources, following recent Taliban clashes with the National Resistance Front in Panjshir and Baghlan, the Taliban have shot dead a number of civilians in the province. The Taliban, however, denys the claims.
Taliban’s senior members have no control over their soldiers in the remote areas of the country. The Tliban has not issued any decree to protect the civilians’ basic rights, but orally they have thrown statements on media, ordering their sub-ordinates to avoid violation of the civilian’s rights and ethnic based harassment of the public. In contrast to the on screen and public misleading statements, their soldiers in remote areas have never obeyed the order and have consistently committed war crimes.