On March 28, 2002, the U.N. Security Council established the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to promote peace and stability in that country and thereafter that mandate annually has been renewed and revised to reflect the continued needs of that country. This Mission’s headquarters is in Kabul with a field presence of around 1,187 staff throughout the country.
UNAMA’s Report on Taliban’s Human Rights Violations
On August 22, 2023, UNAMA released its report that the Taliban has committed at least 800 human-rights violations against U.S. partners since the Taliban’s takeover of the country in 2021. Members of the Afghan National Army are at the “greatest risk,” followed by national and local police officers and National Directorate of Security officials. Targets also include prosecutors, judges and national, provincial and district officials who served in the U.S.-backed government.
At least 218 Afghan partners have been murdered, the report says. “Some were taken to detention facilities and killed while in custody,” the report says, while “others were taken to unknown locations and killed, their bodies either dumped or handed over to family members.”
In addition, the report asserts that there have been 144 instances of torture and maltreatment, including beatings with pipes and cables, plus at least 14 enforced disappearances and more than 424 arbitrary arrests.
Reactions to the U.N. Report
The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on the above details of this report.
Their articles also noted that “tens of thousands of such former officials remain in Afghanistan, unable or unwilling to join the scramble of Afghans to flee abroad” after the Taliban takeover and inhabit a “climate of fear.”
These news articles quoted the report as saying, “the abuses it found work against the healing of wounds in society from Afghanistan’s 40 years of war, and contravene the Taliban’s obligations under international human-rights law” and “the de facto authorities’ failure to fully uphold their publicly stated commitment and to hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account may have serious implications for the future stability of Afghanistan.”
The Wall Street Journal also published an editorial claiming that “the Biden Administration wants Americans to forget about Afghanistan” and “continues to offer too few visas for Afghans who helped America. Some Afghan partners told the U.N. that they ‘have gone into hiding’ and ‘live in fear of being arrested or killed by a member of the de facto authorities.’” Therefore, this editorial concludes, “These ugly details add to the disgrace of one of America’s worst betrayals.”
The Taliban government in a statement appended to the UNAMA report said that after the Taliban had seized power, its supreme leader had issued a blanket amnesty to all former government members, that only people acting against the Taliban had been arrested and prosecuted and, “After the victory of the Islamic Emirate until today, cases of human rights violations (murder without trial, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, and other acts against human rights) by the employees of the security institutions of the Islamic Emirate against the employees and security forces of the previous government have not been reported.”
Although not mentioned in the U.N. report, the U.S. needs to adopt the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide permanent legal status for Afghans who have been admitted to the U.S. on temporary parole visas because of their assistance to U.S. troops and personnel before September 2021.
 Press Release, U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Impunity Prevails for Human Rights Violations Against Former Government Officials and Armed Forces Members (Aug. 22, 2023); UNAMA, A barrier to securing peace: Human rights violations against former government officials and former armed force members in Afghanistan: 15 August 2021—30 June 2023.
 Pena, U.N. Says Taliban Committed Rights Abuses Despite Blanket Amnesty, N.Y. Times (Aug. 22, 2023); Shah, Afghans Who Allied with U.S. Face Killings, Arrests Under Taliban Rule, U.N. Finds, W.S.J. (Aug. 22, 2023); Editorial: The Fate of America’s Afghan Partners, W.S.J. (Aug. 22, 2023)Response by the de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs to UNAMA Human Rights Service report, regarding the violation of human rights against the employees and military forces of the previous government, Directorate of Human Rights & Women’s International Affairs, Kabul (Aug. 2023).
 Introduction of New Proposed Afghan Adjustment Act, dwkcommentaries.com (July 31, 2023).