Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Rights Watchdog Says Civilian Kidnapping in Kandahar a War Crime

Rights Watchdog Says  Civilian Kidnapping in Kandahar a War Crime

KABUL - A group of armed men reportedly kidnapped 70 people from Shah Wali Kot in Kandahar last week and are still holding them hostage.
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said the kidnapping of civilians last week in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province was a war crime and in violation of their human rights.
On Thursday, unknown armed men kidnapped 70 residents of Shah Wali Kot District.
Twenty hostages were released but seven of the hostages were reportedly killed by the gunmen.
“We came over the mountains but we don’t know about our men,” said one female hostage who was released.
“They killed youths and we don’t know where they took them,” another freed hostage said.
Ahmad Bilal Sediqi, a spokesman for the AIHRC, said that at the moment more than 40 civilians including children are being held hostage by the armed group.
The commission has called on the authorities to find a way to secure their release.
However those who were freed claimed they were kidnapped by Taliban and that the others are still being held by the Taliban.
But in a statement, the Taliban denied they were involved in this kidnapping.
“In total the armed gunmen took 70 people with them and at the moment our intelligence institutions are working to find out where they are being held,” said Zia Durani, Kandahar police spokesman.
The freed hostages are currently in Kandahar city and said getting to the city had been difficult.
“They killed my two cousins and my niece but yet no one handed their dead bodies over to us; we don’t know what to do,” said one released hostage.
“Taliban came over the roofs of our houses and took two to three people from each home,” another released hostage said.
The AIHRC said that most of the hostages are men between the ages of 20 and 40 but there are also reportedly some children among the hostages.
“We don’t know anything about the fate of the other hostages,” said another freed man.
“All the residents of Shah Wali Kot district are displaced and no one is left there; they all came to Trinkot capital of Uruzgan province; this is a clear act of human rights violations and a war crime,” said Ahmad Bilal Sediqi, a spokesman for the AIHRC.
Meanwhile the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MoI) said they don’t have details about the incident.
The kidnapping occurred on Thursday but the news only reached the media after the freed hostages managed to reach Kandahar city. (Tolonews)