What Happened in Malistan

By Mohammad Zaki Zaki

Malistan district at sunrise

The terrorist group, the Taliban, have brutally attacked in Malistan firing on innocent people, killing civilians, people who have never committed crimes. According to the findings of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, after seizing Malistan, a district of Ghazni province, the Taliban invaded people’s houses in Miradineh, Shirdagh and Pashi areas of Malistan and brutally killed those who had no role in the clashes.

Thus, the Taliban have violated the basic principles of humanitarian law and broke the rules of human rights as well, which could be considered a war crime. Because, according to international humanitarian law, the warring parties are obliged to treat those who do not have a direct role in the conflict in a humane way and should not harm their lives, morals or physical integrity.

This group after seizing control of Malistan district, deliberately killed civilians, creating an environment of terror and displacing thousands of families, including women, men, elders, youths, girls, boys and children. However, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has so far only identified and noted 37 people who were killed and wounded by the Taliban. According to the statistics and reliable resources 27 people, including a woman, were killed and 10 others were injured. These individuals were all civilians and had no role in the conflict. Moreover, the Taliban also killed about 21 members of the security forces and the popular uprising. So far, accurate and reliable information has not been obtained.

An eyewitness told the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission that after collapsing of Malistan district, the Taliban divided into two groups. The first group fought with the security forces and the second group searched the houses in order to identify and prosecute people attributed to the security organs and popular uprisings. The group treated civilians inhumanely, they were expelled or trapped outside their homes, and after severe violence and beatings they were shot and killed very viciously. A witness says that the Taliban brutally killed seven members of his family and relatives who were not involved in the clashes. All were farmers and shepherds.

Furthermore, the Taliban strangled and killed a 72 year-old woman who had not committed any crime and a farmer when he left his house. They also took 25,000 Afghanis in cash from him that he’d made selling his trees. The money was meant to feed the farmer’s family.

Another observer explained that the Taliban went to the house of a resident of Malistan district, who was a blacksmith and a car dealer at night and asked for his car key, but he refused to give it to them. The angry Talib fired on him. The next night the man’s 16-year-old son, a ninth-grade student went to the Taliban to sue, but the Taliban not only ignored his demands, but also beat him. When he returned home, he was suddenly shot.

According to another eyewitness, the Taliban raided homes to identify government officials and members of the popular uprising, and went to the home of a local resident and opened fire directly. The owner of the house sought shelter but the Taliban placed a grenade inside his living room and injured the man in the legs and arms. At that moment the 19-year-old son of the man was inside the house and when the Taliban noticed him, they took him out of the house and shot him. In another case, the Taliban lifted the bodies of those who were killed by themselves with the help of a Miradineh market guard and then killed the guard so as not to reveal the number of casualties.

A resident of Zardak village in Malistan district told the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) that the Taliban had captured and shot dead three boys under the age of 18 who had fled but were returning home to war-torn areas. Also, when the Taliban attacked the Shirdagh area of ​​Malistan district, two women came out of their houses to see what had happened when the Taliban noticed them they immediately shot them, killing one and blinding the other when a bullet hit her eyes.

Displacement and deprivation of educational and health services is also another serious talk here. 2,500 families, including women and children, have been displaced from different parts of Malistan district to Kabul and Jaghori and Nawar districts to escape Taliban violence. The results show that displaced families are in a difficult situation due to the lack of basic and essential facilities and many of them do not have access to food, safe drinking water, clothing and shelter. In addition, the families do not have access to health and education services, and according to local sources, families and individuals living in Malistan district are facing serious problems and challenges due to the closure of schools and health centers.

The Taliban have informed the residents of Malistan district that after this, women and girls have no right to go out to school without a mahram (an escort) and a hijab (head scarf).

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart