Reports from fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan

All reports are from Payam-e-Zan (Women's Message) reporters in 1992-96 unless otherwise mentioned.

Two mass graves

On April first 1995 when Kartaseh, Kartechar, Kabul University, Teachers Training Center, Abniceena Hospital in Kabul fall to the hands of "government", two mass graves out of tens were discovered in the campus of Medical Faculty. Many people of Kabul visited these graves. In the first grave, bodies of countless men and women were placed. They were taken into captivity by Hezb-e-Wahdat and buried alive. It was a horrible scene, the headless and folded bodies of men and women were reminding certain memories of Hitler’s era. In the second grave there was a box, two meters long one meter wide and 80 centimeters high in which 8 bodies were placed. There heads and feet were chopped. On 2nd April when Rabbani was reopening Kabul University, he not only didn’t visit the mass graves, but a day after the reopening the university he ordered to carry the bodies to the unknown place just to avoid further stigma of illegitimacy of his fundamentalist brothers. People were making comments that "government" is doing so to conceal it’s own crimes.


A girl in Kabul after all her family member were killed by fundamentalists.


The three men who were hanged by Rabbani "governmetn" in false charges of robbery in Kabul.

Women’s self-immolation under the Taliban’s domination

Forced marriages always create a lot of untold problems for the families and particularly for those girls who do not have the right to choose their husband. Khadija d/o M.Auob resident of Darabad village, Farah province, in her very childhood had been given to Mirwais of the same village by her father. After marriage, irreconcilable differences appeared among them. Mirwais, being a drunk and adulterer, always put his wife under physical and mental torture. A month ago he forcibly took all the jewellery of Khadija and lost it in gambling. Against all these pressures and brutal oppression, Khadija, who couldn’t find any authority to seek justice under the Taliban’s domination, burnt herself to death by spraying kerosene on her body. The second incident also took place in the same village about three months ago. Sher Ahmad resident of Darabad village had her under-aged daughter Zhara married to a resident of Dozak village of Farah province and in return tied the nuptial knot of the said boy’s sister to his son. As Zhara, from the very beginning, not willing to enter that forced marriage, returned to her father’s home but, of course, by threatening and beating her up, she had been sent to her husband’s home. She then poured a gallon full of petrol on her body and put herself on fire. On her way to hospital in Zabul, Iran, she succumbed to injuries.

"Only Afghan fundamentalists can commit
such heinous crimes"

On Nov.25,1995 a group of armed jehadis broke into a house at 4th floor of flat No.38 in old Mycroroyn, choked to death a pregnant lady and three children, then looted their house. It's worth mentioning that flat No.38 was located opposite to Jehadi armed unit No.308. People of the region fully condemned coward act of jehadis. They were shouting that "only Afghan fundamentalists can commit such heinous crimes".

dead body of a victim

A decomposed body of a person with his baby on top of it found from a mass-grave out of tens of such graves in Kabul.

Children selling for food

Wednesday, April 17,1996: A man wanted to sell his three children (two boys and one girl) on Puli Baghumoomee in central Kabul. The children were asking their father not to sell them. But their father with tears in his eyes was asking the people to buy the children for Afs. 300,000 each.


On April 11,1996 a man had put her 6-year old daughter on sale in Jalalabad. He, with tearful eyes, was shouting "I can’t feed my family, so I have to sell my daughter." Shopkeepers of Jalalabad collected Afs. 1,800,000 for him and asked him not sell his daughter.

Dostum commander’s crime

On November 1995 a young lady-teacher of Khadija school in Jozjan province was stalked by a commander of Dostum’s militia while on her way home. The commander and his armed men stopped the young lady- teacher and ordered her to get into the jeep. The woman, who knew what was wanted of her, spat in their faces and let them know what she thought of them. The arrogant commander immediately drew out his pistol and fired at the woman, killing her on the spot. That was not all. They broke into her home that same night and took all the family members away so that no one would be left to bring up charges or spread allegations against them. To date no further information or clue regarding the fate of the miserable family has become available.

The only way

In November 1995, an old man r/o Phase one of Khairkhana, Kabul, invited his neighbors to his house and said "I am old, I can’t find a job to my ability. I sold every thing I had to survive. Now nothing is left to sell and I can’t go out of Kabul too. I want you to marry my three daughters and I would like to give my two sons to any one who wants them only for survival from cold and hunger." When the neighbors heard the sad story of the old man, they collected a little money for him to deal with his urgent needs. This is not a unique story. Thousands of fathers who are at their wits’ end in famine stricken Kabul are passing a miserable life.

"Women in their houses or in the grave"

On Jan. 22,1996 a lady was hit by Taliban vehicle. People went to governor of Herat for investigation. The governor said that "we keep telling you that women don't have the right to go outside their houses. If she was a man we could investigate the case. It is a good lesson to other women not to go outside of their houses. "WOMEN IN THEIR HOUSES OR IN THE GRAVE".

Taliban style cruelty

On 17 August 1995 Abdullah a resident of Balahesar of Ghazni province arranged a party to celebrate his marriage and people were listening to music. Meanwhile a group of Taliban broke into the house and started beating bride and groom because they, according to them, by listening to music acted against Islam. Then they mounted the ill-fated bride and groom on a donkey and rode them in nearby areas asking the people to watch them and take a lesson. With this cruel act, Taliban changed a marriage day to an awful mourning.

Bodies in a well

On July 1995 four bodies were discovered in the vicinity of Watan Orphanage, in front of old Russian Embassy in Kabul by the local people. The bodies were out of recognition. They were killed at the time of Hezb-e-Wahdat’s (Mazari group) rule.

Adultery in the vicinity of Kaaba

Esmatullah, one of Haji Zaman’s commanders takes her children’s young lady-teacher to Hajj (pilgrimage). On the way, they stay in one room. When other pilgrims come to know that the girl is not related to the commander and he has just taken her for pleasure, they protest that commander Esmatullah has committed adultery and must be punished according to the Islamic law. But Haji Zaman and other Jehadis drop the case and keep silent, because they know that they will be involved too.

Prison’s rent

When Taliban put someone in jail, they ask "do you eat from your own expenses or from government’s?" Those who eat from their own expenses are charged Afs. 3000 for each 24 hours and those who eat from the "government", are charged Afs. 6000. If some one was not able to pay the fee he has to fight for Taliban.

Looting ancient relics

Meerzaka is a village located in Sayedkaram district of Paktia province, 30 km north east of Gardez. In the year 1947 about 50,000 pieces of coin were found and brought to Kabul museum. These coins were made of silver and copper in 300 different shapes. Some of them had the portraits of a human and the others had portraits of trees, birds, weapons, sun and stars. Archaeologists believe that these coins belong to 600 B.C. Recently when jehadi forces took over Meerzaka, Raheem, a commander affiliated to Hezb-e-Islami Hekmatyar, told the people "if you want more butter on your bread, start digging in Meerzaka. I will support you and will arrange your sale." So the people started digging un-technically and destroyed many ancient relics. Finally they found a big treasure of ancient relics in which many golden snake statues and bowls were included. These relics were sold to Pakistani and other foreigners for a throw away price. Now if some one wants to take a look to relics, they have to pay Rs. 3,000.

A mosque, or a check post?

On May 1996 a merchant named Dr.Mohammad Anwar who had once paid custom duties in Herat to Taliban ‘Islamic Emirate’, then to Ustad Rabbani’s ‘Government’ and then gave bribe Afs. 20,000,000 to Haji Qudeer’s looters, was proceeding towards Turkham (a check post on Pak-Afghan border). Near Tourkham he was stopped by Farooq and Daadook, commanders of Mahaz-e-Mili Islami of Pie Syed Ahmad Gillani. First they inspected his goods on charges of having arms, then they asked for permit which was provided to them. After all these incidents the merchant happily gave them a little money. The armed men returned the money back and said "what do you think we are collecting charity to build a mosque, this is a check post and you have to pay Afs. 300,000". Poor Anwar was emphasizing that he had paid all custom duties. When the armed men realized that he is not ready to pay, they started beating him. Anwar succeeded to escape leaving behind his shoes, turban and all his goods.


On April 24, 1996 Taliban cut hands and feet of three person in center of Farah. This brutal punishment was carried out in the premises of the Abunaser Lycee (high school). These three people are from Pushto village of Bakwa district. Their names are Sultan, Khangul and Luqman. They were allegedly involved in robbery. Taliban called Dr. Shaikh Ahmad surgeon, to cut the right hand and left foot of each. But the doctor refused to do so. Taliban warned the doctor that they will do it themselves and if they die of bleeding they will kill the doctor too. For the doctor no other option was left. Taliban collected the people by force to watch amputation. After cutting their feet and hands they put the bleeding hands and feet in a wheelbarrow and passed in the streets to show the people. The real reason for their purposeful mutilation was their not being on friendly terms with Maulavi Yehya who, as son-in-law of Maulavi Dost Mohammad, judge of the Farah court, had the might of Shariat law behind him and therefore could have the hands and feet of his adversaries amputated without the slightest compunction. Similarly, on April 24,1995, a young widow and a young man were publicaly flogged and given a hundred lashes each. Their charges were suspicion of having commited adultery. The punishment was again carried out on the grounds of the Abunaser Lycee by the court judge in the presence of Farah citizens. These shameful activities are continuing despite the fact that the Taliban "brothers" themselves and non-Talib miscreants invariably possess two, three, four and even more wives. Some of them, like the governor of Herat, Mullah Yar Mohammad Khan, just in one week takes two wives. How you are still alive?

On 10th April 1996 a government employee, recently kicked out of his job, wanted to sell his five children in front of Kabul Municipality. He was shouting "It has been three days that these children have eaten nothing." Many people had gathered, some were donating money and some were crying. The man was not accepting the money, because it was only enough for three-four days. He was asking the people to take the children instead, for survival. After a while a group of armed jehadis came, beat the man and took him to their post. There they asked him "if you and your children haven’t eaten for so long, how you are still alive??"


When Dostum’s forces were defeated by Rabbani’s gang and many of his men were captured, Dostum’s militia, in order to show their wrath and anger, gouged out the eyes of Rahmatullah, a member of Jamait-e-Islami, on November 13,1995.

The fundamentalists and the Afghan women

Nasima d/o Brigadaier Khalil resident of Darabad, Farah was living in Kabul. Recently she was engaged. On the wedding night while she was returning from a beauty parlor, she was abducted by armed jehadis. After several days while being dishonored she was dropped near her house. Nasima attempted suicide, but she was taken to hospital and saved. As ill-fated family couldn't stay any longer in Kabul, so they left the city.


Farzana d/o Engineer Aqa Mohammad resident of Darabad village, Farah pro-vince, was living in Khair-khana, Kabul. Her husband was a military officer. 15 months ago while she was taking Afs. 800,000 to her parents, on her way to their house, she was abducted by jehadis. she was pregnant. Her relatives looked for her every where but in vain. Then they became frustrated and her husband left Kabul. Now he is in Farah and suffering from psychological problems.


On January 1996 Anargul a young lady who was supporting four children and her sick mother, while returning from a funeral service was kidnapped by Rabbani’s armed men. After four days her dead and dishonored body was found.

On May 24,1996 a rocket hits the house of Abdul Karim the shopkeeper and kills Ajmal his three years old son and injures A.Karim. He was carried to the hospital. His wife Parigull was visiting him once in while. One day at 7:30 PM when she was returning from the hospital she and her three children were kidnapped and she herself was gang raped. After 24 hours she and her children were released in front of their door.


On November 29,1995 village of Shekhmatur of Charbulak district came under cross fire of two rival groups, which as a result 21 people including 9 women and 4 children died and fighters of Khanju commander captured the village. They kidnapped 2 girls one 14 and the other 17 years old. They were taken to the headquarters of Khanju. There they were gang raped and were released after 24 hours.

The Taliban’s holy duty

The Taliban can be the envy of the bigots of the world for their zeal in performing their holy duties. In the marketplace of Shindand, Herat, they were preoccupied with the sin of having long hair. They were observed for days on end searching for young boys with longer-than-Taliban-acceptable hair in every nook and corner of Shindand bazaar. Whenever they chanced to spot any such gross offender they fell on him with gusto, cutting his hair in a very ridiculous style (as a Punishment) from the left ear to the right and from forehead to the back of the head. They called their buffoonery ‘making a street’. After finishing their ‘holy job’ they collectively ridiculing the unfortunate boys. All barbers in town have been ordered by Taliban, on pain of the most blood-chilling punishments not to dare to shave anyone’s beard off.

The gift of the fundamentalists

One of the consequences of fundamentalists’ domination in Afghanistan has been a rapid and unprecedented increase in the number of prostitutes and beggars. Small children and women are the first and the main victims of this fundamentalist’s gift. Young women who have lost their spouses or male bread-winners in this male-dominated society and who have no safe haven in a world of death, destruction, starvation and fundamentalist bigotry have no other recourse but to degrade themselves for the sake of feeding their starving children and other family members. All token humanitarian relief assistance are under the control of the ‘government’ authorities. Distribution of relief supplies to pauperised widows and their families provides golden opportunities for the depraved fundamentalists to take pious advantage of the destitute ‘beneficiaries’. They begin with asking for bribes and then work their way to more carnal gratification, culminating in the prostitution of the miserable women. "Islamization" courses for functionaries

One of the many strange programmes planned by the "Islamic government" in Kabul is to "re-Islamize" the people. Following the example of Iran, they are focusing on revising Islamic tenents and are teaching religious and political courses drawn by their officials. The aim of these courses is to forcibly impose fundamentalist dogmas and unscientific ideas which neither have any relevance to the life of our people nor help them in any way to solve their acute problems. One such course begin by teaching the proper way of Wozo (ablution) is in fact an insult and contempt for the Muslim functionaries who have been saying prayers five times a day throughout their lives. To add to this insult, if anybody fails to perform his prayers precisely as designed by the fundamentalists, he has to face harsh consequences like salary deduction, show-cause letters, warnings or finally leave the job orders.

Masoud and the killing of 85 educated men of Panjsheer

During the war of resistance against the Russian invaders, eighty five intellectuals including teachers, engineers, government employees and other enlightened individuals were done away under various false charges in Panjsheer, the area under the command of Ahmad Shah Masoud. Masoud himself can never absolve himself from responsibility for these killings, but in order to pose as a ‘democrat’ he claims that he had no hand in these murders. "The assassination of intellectuals is the work of Mullahs", he observes.

Gift of the "Islamic Revolution": Teachers’ begging

Teachers who are living in towns and villages are begging their daily bread to ward off starvation. Chaman Gul, a pauperised teacher, collects watermelon rinds and leftover pieces of bread from the house of Oramish, the kingling of the locality, Juzjan province. The watermelon rinds and the bread crumbs are collected ostensibly for the purpose of being fed to ‘his sheep’ while in actual fact they are the sole victuals of his destitute family.

Don’t kiss your mother-in-law!

Maulavi Dost Mohammad, the erudite Head of the Sharia Jurisprudence court of Farah province publicly ruled in one of his sermons: "If a man kisses the hand of his mother-in-law in greeting and felicitation on Eid, it means that his wife had been divorced." Such a lewd and depraved mentality is too disgusting to merit any further comment. Hostages in barrels

On April 12,1995, a truck belonging to Hezb-i-Wahdat and carrying 12 sealed barrels was making its way from the Taimani area of Kabul to Dasht-i-Barchi in the west of the city. The barrels were sealed tight but each one had a hole bored on top. The truck was stopped for a routine check at a check-point. A piteous voice rose beseechingly from one of the barrels, "Water, for God’s sake, water. I’m dying of thirst." This voice was followed by other voices moaningly crying for help from the other barrels. The guard who at first took fright called others for help. The driver and four other Hezb-i-Wahdat men took to their heels but were soon overtaken and arrested by the guards at the checkpoint. They were handed over to the so-called Security Ministry, but further details and follow-up information is not available.

The value of life in Jehadis’ view

The following incident was communicated by a man to RAWA’s Payam-e-Zan (The Message of Woman): It was during the closing days of 1995 that I went to visit a friend of mine hospitalised in Sherpao Hospital, Peshawar. He gave me a first hand account of how he had fallen into that condition: "Some days ago I was travelling in a truck carrying goods from Kandahar to Kabul. In the suburbs of Ghazni province I was stopped at a checkpost manned by commander Qalam of Gulbudeen Hekmatyar’s Hezb-i-Islami. The guard told me to get out, which I obediently did. He asked for money. I told him I did not have much. I showed him what I had. He looked into my eyes and told me he would soon convince me that I could pay much more. He went into the hut used as the checkpost and came out dragging a blood-dripping headless corpse. "This one also did not have much. What was the use of him having a head on his shoulders? Come on, make a clean breast of it. Where have you hidden the money?" I was benumbed by fear. I stammered that I really didn’t have any more money. The Jehadi fired without more ado and struck me in the right shoulder. Blood was running down my sleeve and darkness was spreading in front of my eyes. I knew this was only a friendly jehadi warning so I told him where I had put my little fortune of Afs.800,000 (then something near Rs.5,000). My life was spared and I returned to Pakistan for treatment but I am haunted by the memory of that headless corpse.

Tape recorder and amputation

A young man, Niazudeen from Zurmat district of Paktia province was listening to his tape recorder. A Talib objects and breaks his tape recorder. Quarrel begins between the two. People mediated and solve the problem. But after a few days later on April 21,1996 poor Niazudeen is caught on false charges of robbery and after 10 days of torture his right hand and left foot were cut in the public view.

Commander Amin, a lewd killer

During the winter of 1994, two girls were kidnapped from a wedding ceremony held in Ghazni by one of the commanders of Amin. The parents asked Amin, ‘Security Chief’, for help. After three days the girls were found. As the kidnappers were Amin’s men, he killed both girls because it could cause a trouble for Amin himself. In a report Amin said: "the girls were prostitutes so we killed them." Other jehadis also satisfied with the cruel act of Amin.

Raping nine-year old girls

In September 1995, a nine-year old girl was abducted and raped by a Jehadi commander in Jalmato village of Ghazni province. The family of the girl asked the Jehadi authorities for help. The Jehadi Shura (council) knew they could not afford to admit that a Jehadi brother had committed the heinous crime. They soon found two scapegoats and had them (innocent shepherds) hanged. When the hangmen were taking down the corpses of the two innocent shepherds, it was discovered that one of them was still alive and could be resuscitated. So they had him sent to a nearby hospital where he was dispatched with a lethal injection because there is no any right to hung a person twice.

Was there any electricity at the time of the Prophet Mohammad?

One of the Jehadi commanders, during a meeting while reproaching a person who complained about the lack of electricity said: "The people unjustly complain about the shortage of electricity. Was there any electricity during Mohammad’s era?" The person who had complained, without any hesitation, replied: "Command-er, during the Prophet’s period there wasn’t any Pajero, no power generators, then why everyone of you are envying with each other to possess more and more of them? Is that not right that every one of you have generator in your houses and are watching films on VCR? Is there any minister, chief and commander who have not power-generator to illuminate his home every night, no matter how the ear pricking noises of power generators disturb the neighbors?" As the person finished his talk, the comm-ander changed the topic because he, being ignorant and ashamed, had no answer to the truth being said.

Toll of the civil war

On 15th July 1995 two women were injured by rockets launched by Taliban in Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul. They were picked up by Jehadis in a car under the name of taking them to a hospital. Next day their dishonoured and naked dead bodies were found from a hill of the area.

Abdulmanan Niazi, the murderer

On Nov. 11,1995, Abdul Manan Niazi with some pick-up Toyotas full of Taliban raided Kelbarzn, a village in Herat to punish the dissidents. Niazi himself whipped a dissident Talib in public until he died on the spot.

Masoud’s men rape foreigners

After defeating Hezb-e-Wahdat in west of Kabul on February 1995, ‘government’ troops, started looting, raping and committed many other crimes not only against the defeated groups but also against some foreigners. Shura-e-Nezar troops of Ahmad Shah Masoud after entering Karti Seh (south west of Kabul) raped, tortured and then looted the property of Alizj, Rosi, Ilee, Keren, Margret and Willy from USA, France, Belgium and Swiss. Similarly they raped the wife of Ghulam Hasan Turkmaney, who was mother of many children.

"Religious courses" and the art of fondling

Mulavi Basheer teaches in the religious beliefs courses in Ministry of Refugees’ Repatriation. He usually insults women and girls of the courses. Once Tymorshah, the gate man of the Deputy Minister finds Mulavi while eloping with a girl. The Deputy Minister summons the girl and Mulavi to his office, and fires poor Tymorshah on charges of looking a naked girl.

Taliban style killing

Abdul Qayum was caught by Taliban on charges of having arms. After a few days, Taliban bring his dead body to his family and said: "Abdul Qayum’s time was over and due to God’s well he breathed his last" But when Qayum’s family was washing his body they saw signs of torture.

At the cost of our people’s blood

On Feb.12,1996 a big party was arranged to celebrate circumcision of Dustum’s son. Party continued for five days in which billions of Afghani were lavished. More than ten groups of musicians were performing and women were dancing. People ask where Dustum and his notorious commanders have got all this money from. They drive expensive cars and have built big and luxurious houses inside Afghanistan and abroad and waste money for their pleasure while the people are starving to death.

Jehadi style assault

On Dec.26,1995 some armed jehadis broke into a house at flat No.4 of third Mycrorayon, cruelly kills the mother and kidnaps her young daughter. The girl is still missing. Hezb-e-Islami takes bribe

In January 1996 Haji Amin, a goldsmith was kidnapped by Hezb-e-Islami of Gulbudeen for ransom. His sons paid Afs. 300,000,000 and the man was released. He said "though I was sick these criminals beat and tortured me badly".

"Down with jehadis and bandits"

On Jan.31,1996 Fakhrudeen was deprived of his cloth shop worth Afs.200,000,000. It’s only 200m from a security post which was under the control of Quree Mujaheed of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbudeen. Shopkeepers of the area held a strike to condemn this heinous act. They were chanting slogans that "Down with jehadis and bandits"; but soon they were surrounded by armed men and ordered to disperse. Dostum’s malitia take bribe

On Dec 24,1995 Dustum’s armed men kidnapped a 16 years old boy, sexually assaulted him and asked for Afs. 3,000,000 from his father who owns Alburz Hotel. But after a few days the boy succeeded to escape.

Mass suicide

In January 1996 the whole members of a family living in Karte sulh (Peace Ave.) had committed suicide because they had nothing for their survival.

Looting under the rule of Taliban

On January 23,1996 a group of armed people entered Zulmai Market, Herat and looted several shops.


On January 25,1996 a group of armed people looted 11 Tone of pistachio belonging to Sufi Gulzar resident of Khwaja Kala located in west of Herat city.


On January 28,1996 a group of armed people enterred Khurasan money exchange market, Herat and deprived people from lots of foreign currency.

Taliban commit heinous crimes

On January 28,1996 Taliban cut hand and foot of Abdul from Adraskan, Herat. He was accused of robbery.


On March 27,1996 Abdullah and Abdul Mahmood residents of Uruzgan were caught by Taliban on charges of robbery. Taliban tortured them first and after cutting their hands and feet they put their wounds in boiling oil.


On 12 April 1996 Abdul Haq s/o M. Nabi was hung publicly in Herat.

Daily work of the fundamentalist commanders

On April 14,1996 Hazrat who is known Gurgury commander resident of Kala Balkh District, attacks Arnagha village. People of the village evacuate women and young boys and girls. A lady who was going out of the village had a baby in her arms. The baby started crying and the poor lady, to save other members of the family had no other option but to leave her baby in the bushes. The other day the baby was missing.

WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN: A human rights catastrophe
Amnesty International (March 1995)

Blood-Stained Hands: Past Atrocities in Kabul and Afghanistan’s Legacy of Impunity
Human Rights Watch, 133-page report (July 7, 2005)

Crimes of the fundamentalist bands before the fall of the puppet regime
Human Rights Watch, Feb.1991

The Afghanistan Justice Project
Casting Shadows: War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, 1978-2001

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