Report: Taliban Beating U.N. Workers as U.N. Expresses ‘Optimism’ in Jihadis

A Taliban fighter sits on the back of vehicle with a machine gun in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. The U.S. military has taken over Afghanistan's airspace as it struggles to manage a chaotic evacuation after the …
AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

An internal United Nations document reveals that Taliban terrorists have physically assaulted U.N. staffers in Afghanistan, Reuters reported on Wednesday, having claimed to obtain the document.

The news of alleged attacks on U.N. workers, reportedly including both beatings of staffers and full raids and looting of U.N. offices, follows bizarre statements from multiple U.N. agencies, including the U.N. Human Rights Council and UNICEF, notably failing to criticize the Taliban in any way. A UNICEF official expressed “optimism” last week that it could work with the jihadist terrorist organization on the right of girls to obtain an education; the Taliban banned girls from school and most of public life during its prior rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

Reuters claimed the document listed “dozens” of threats, lootings, and beatings of its own workers. The incidents reportedly occurred before August 15, when the Taliban surrounded Kabul, prompting the now-former president of the country, Ashraf Ghani, to flee to the United Arab Emirates, surrendering the national government to the jihadists.

Reuters identified several of the incidents as door-to-door raids seeking international workers. In one instance, Taliban jihadists beat a U.N. staffer in public after finding an employee identification on him; the employee was on the way to the Kabul international airport, which Taliban spokesmen have insisted they would allow foreigners to enter, but not Afghans. Reuters noted the U.N. worker was indeed Afghan.

A Taliban fighter (R) searches the bags of people coming out of the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A Taliban fighter (R) searches the bags of people coming out of the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city’s airport trying to flee the group’s feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

“The incidents are among dozens contained in an internal U.N. security document seen by Reuters that describes veiled threats, the looting of U.N. offices and physical abuse of staff since Aug. 10, shortly before the Taliban swept to power,” the outlet reported.

Reuters noted that, in reaching out to both the Taliban and the United Nations, neither confirmed nor denied the attacks. A U.N. spokesman did tell Reuters that the international organization was “in touch” with “the authorities that are in charge in Kabul,” presumably meaning the Taliban.

Afghan United Nations workers told Reuters they knew of dozens of such cases of abuse by Taliban jihadists personally. One woman lamented that she felt the U.N. had abandoned her.

“We were expecting the entire U.N. system to help us. We were honestly expecting that,” she lamented. “We are in danger. And if we cannot work, who is going to reach the people?”

A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with images of women defaced using spray paint in Shar-e-Naw in Kabul on August 18, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty salon with images of women defaced using spray paint in Shar-e-Naw in Kabul on August 18, 2021. (Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.N. itself did confirm in a report last week that Taliban jihadists were conducting door-to-door raids seeking Afghans to assault if they worked for the former government or the U.S.-led coalition that invaded the country in 2001. Reports of Afghan collaborators enduring gang beatings or simply disappearing began increasing in light of the takeover of Kabul.

The Taliban’s top spokesmen have repeatedly denied the overwhelming evidence that these attacks are happening, encouraging endangered Afghans to stay in the country and cooperate with the Taliban. Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid repeated at a press conference Tuesday that Taliban terrorists had granted a general “amnesty” to all who collaborated with U.S. forces and other international groups.

“There is no list; we are not following anybody,” Mujahid insisted. “No incident of torture or killing has been reported to authorities.”

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (L) gestures as he speaks during the first press conference in Kabul on August 17, 2021 following the Taliban stunning takeover of Afghanistan. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid (L) gestures as he speaks during the first press conference in Kabul on August 17, 2021, following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. (Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images)

Far from Afghanistan, some of the U.N.’s largest offices have indicated that they are willing to give the Taliban the benefit of the doubt. In a statement shortly after the fall of Kabul, the Security Council echoed the Taliban’s repeated use of the world “inclusive” to describe the repressive sharia state it was attempting to build, refusing to mention, much less condemn, the Taliban in a statement calling for “an immediate cessation of all hostilities.”

Mustapha Ben Messaoud, the top UNICEF official in Afghanistan, said last week that the children’s rights agency was “quite optimistic” it could cooperate with the Taliban on the rights of girls. He emphasized that UNICEF had “not had a single issue with the Taliban” at the time. Reuters did not specify if any of the attacks in the leaked document it published this week targeted UNICEF.

“We have ongoing discussions, we are quite optimistic based on those discussions,” Messaoud said.
Taliban fighters patrol in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. The Taliban declared an "amnesty" across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Taliban fighters patrol in Wazir Akbar Khan in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, August 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

The U.N. Human Rights Council faced a barrage of criticism this week after a draft resolution on Afghanistan, reportedly written by representatives from Pakistan, refused to acknowledge the Taliban’s human rights abuses or mention the Taliban at all. The document expressed “deep concern” for human rights and women’s rights in particular, and emphasized “the importance of combating terrorism,” but offered no specific condemnation or recommendations regarding how the Taliban should act now that it controls the nation’s government.

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