Demand 'universal jurisdiction' for Taliban criminals

Amnesty International on Aug. 24 called for the application of "universal jurisdiction" against members of the Taliban accused of crimes under international law. Invocation of this doctrine would give any country the power to prosecute Taliban members for such violations. The statement came two days after a report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) which found that Taliban de facto authorities have been committing extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, torture and other forms of maltreatment against former members of Afghanistan's government and security forces. The report said that UNAMA has recorded at least 218 such extrajudicial killings in less than two years, from August 2021 to June 2023. Amnesty stated: "The new UNAMA report demonstrates an unending pattern of extrajudicial killings against members of the former government and security forces since Taliban's return to power in August 2021."

The head of UNAMA, Roza Otunbayeva, stated that the Taliban authorities "must demonstrate a genuine commitment to the general amnesty to ensure real prospects for justice, reconciliation, and lasting peace in Afghanistan."

The main spokesperson for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, has rejected the UNAMA report, calling its findings "untrue." He further stated that "some organizations within the United Nations, instead of understanding the realities of Afghanistan and seeing positive developments, always seek negative aspects and spread propaganda which indeed, damage their credibility." (Sic)

From Jurist, Aug. 24. Used with permission.