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US State Dept: Detainees Mostly Political; Arbitrary Arrests Rampant in Afghanistan

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Kabul: In its annual human rights report, the US State Department highlighted that despite announcing a “general amnesty,” the Taliban has persisted in detaining individuals, particularly those linked to the previous Afghan government. The recently issued report by the US State Department examined the human rights conditions in various nations, including Afghanistan, in 2023. It revealed that a majority (90%) of detainees held by the Taliban are categorized as political prisoners. Additionally, the report pointed out that the Taliban frequently engage in arbitrary detention of Afghan citizens without legal justification and lack proper legal support mechanisms for them.

According to the report, the Taliban last year detained individuals without any judicial process and kept them in long-term detention without organizing their right to have a lawyer.

According to the US State Department, almost all cases of Taliban detentions have been conducted in an “unfair” manner, as these arrests have no clear legal basis, and the detainees have not been informed about the reasons for their detention and the charges they face.

Following the regime change in Afghanistan, many former officials sought refuge in neighbouring countries to evade arbitrary detention, reprisals, and security threats. Despite the declaration of amnesty, the Taliban continues to detain former police officers and officials.

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