Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Taliban of forcibly evicting thousands of Afghans as collective punishment against mainly the Shiite Hazara minority.
The New York-based human rights organization said in a statement that the Taliban, who are Sunni extremists, have forced hundreds of families in different parts of Afghanistan to leave their homes and farms.
HRW said that the move was partly motivated by land grab, whereby the Taliban distribute the agricultural lands to their supporters or ethnic keen. The Taliban are mainly from the Pashtun ethnic group.
“The Taliban are forcibly evicting Hazaras and others on the basis of ethnicity or political opinion to reward Taliban supporters,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “These evictions, carried out with threats of force and without any legal process, are serious abuses that amount to collective punishment.”
There have been at least to bombing attacks against the Hazara community in Afghanistan attributed to the Islamic State group, a seemingly rival group to the Taliban
Iran’s Shiite government has called on the militant group, who captured the country in August, to protect minorities, particularly Shiites.
The Hazaras were targets of Taliban violence during the earlier period of their rule in Afghanistan before 2001.