International Organization for Transitional Justice and Peace

The Taliban Must Face Justice for Ongoing Crimes in Afghanistan

A devastating truck bomb attack in the Kabul Green Zone killed more than 150 people and injured around 500 civilians. Source:

As the United Nations prepares for another round of discussions on Afghanistan in late June, it is imperative to focus on addressing the Taliban’s ongoing human rights abuses and alleged crimes against humanity, including gender persecution. This conference presents a critical opportunity to prioritize accountability for the Taliban’s well-documented violations and pave the way for a future built on justice and lasting peace. 


Despite international pressure, the Taliban continues to perpetrate severe human rights violations, including targeted assassinations, violent crackdowns on dissent, and the systematic suppression of women’s rights. This echoes their oppressive rule in 1996, with renewed banning on girls’ education and women’s employment, curbs on female journalists and activists, and the enforcement of harsh interpretations of Islamic law. Recent official reports by the UN and human rights observer further substantiate these abuses, detailing extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detention of journalists, human rights defenders, and former government officials.


The international community must take concrete steps to hold the Taliban accountable for these ongoing abuses. This requires a multifaceted approach including supporting the International Criminal Court’s ongoing efforts into addressing alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and the ISIS, and implementing targeted and meaningful sanctions on the Taliban leaders directly responsible for human rights abuses, particularly Haibatullah Akhundzada, can serve as a powerful deterrent and pressure point for behavioral change.


Beyond these specific actions, the international community must resist any attempts to legitimize the Taliban de facto regime or normalize relations with the them until they demonstrably address the international community concerns of ensuring Afghan people rights. Normalization without accountability sends a dangerous message that human rights abuses are tolerated, undermining the fight for democracy and emboldening extremist groups worldwide.


The Taliban’s history is deeply intertwined with terrorism. They have long provided safe havens for terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and continue to harbor extremist elements. Under their rule, Afghanistan risks becoming a breeding ground for jihadist groups once again. The horrific attacks that claimed countless lives, including the 31 May 2017 truck bombing in Kabul’s Zanbaq square, serve as stark reminders of their war crimes.


The United Nations must take a firm stance against Taliban-linked terrorism and human rights violations. Mere monitoring and reporting are no longer sufficient. The fight against terrorism cannot have an end date, and engaging with the Taliban solely to contain this threat is not a viable option.


The Taliban’s rise to power was significantly aided by groups like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaeda. Their continued ideological ties to extremism and unwillingness to sever connections with terrorist organizations pose a major threat to regional and global security.


The consequences of the Taliban’s actions extend far beyond Afghanistan’s borders. Their promotion of extremism and suppression of democratic values destabilize the entire region. Allowing them to rule with impunity sets a dangerous precedent and emboldens their regime to use similar tactics like Iran’s.


The Taliban leadership, including Haibatullah Akhundzada, must be held accountable for their well-documented human rights violations and promotion of extremism. Issuing arrest warrants for Akhundzada and those involved in these crimes by the ICC would send a powerful message of support for Afghan women and all victims of Taliban atrocities.


The international community, with the UN playing a leading role, cannot simply ignore the Taliban’s reign of terror. Failure to address these issues will leave enduring scars on Afghanistan and pose lasting challenges to global security. This conference provides a critical opportunity to demonstrate a collective commitment to justice, human rights, and a peaceful future for Afghanistan.


Aman Riazat

Aman Riazat

x  Powerful Protection for WordPress, from Shield Security
This Site Is Protected By
Shield Security