Taliban 'beat and whip' crowds as regime tightens grip on Afghanistan

18 August 2021, 15:35 | Updated: 19 August 2021, 00:41

The Taliban have been accused of carrying out beatings and acts against women despite their publicity drive
The Taliban have been accused of carrying out beatings and acts against women despite their publicity drive. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Reports of Taliban abuses, including beatings, whippings and the treatment of women, have emerged from Afghanistan despite the group's publicity drive.

Fears that the new regime, which swept to power after the Afghan army crumbled, would impose a strict form of sharia law and launch reprisals against people who helped the international and government forces have grown since the fall of Kabul.

The group has launched a PR blitz, including a press conference in which officials took questions, and it claimed it would not take revenge and women's rights would be respected under Islamic law.

But reports have emerged of people being beaten at Kabul airport and women having to leave their jobs. Footage shows girls screaming for them to be saved from the Taliban.

Read more: 'It's all over for us': Pregnant woman blinded by Taliban fears for Afghan women

Read more: Afghanistan crisis: 'Jihadists are celebrating this as arguably their greatest victory since 9/11'

Al Jazeera reports at least three people have been killed and a dozen more were wounded in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

Footage purportedly from the city appears to show gunshots as a crowd carries a large flag of the former Afghan government.

It came after a number of residents there resisted the replacement of the Afghan republic flag with the Taliban's banner.

Women plead for US troops to help them at Kabul airport after Taliban takeover

The Associated Press said journalists covering the incident were beaten.

Members of the Taliban had reportedly fired their weapons at crowds around Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, where a major evacuation of foreigners and Afghan refugees is under way.

The LA Times' reporter Marcus Yam said half a dozen were wounded after the Taliban used "gunfire, whips, stick and sharp objects" on the crowd of people trying to flee their rule.

Read more: Ex-Marine in Kabul's powerful message to Boris Johnson and MPs on Afghanistan

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said: "There have been instances where we have received reports of people being turned away or pushed back or even beaten.

"We are taking that up in a channel with the Taliban to try to resolve those issues. And we are concerned about whether that will continue to unfold in the coming days."

Johnny Mercer, Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View and a former British Army officer, tweeted that the Taliban were going door to door looking for Afghan special forces from the previous government's security units.

Meanwhile, CNN's chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward said she saw a Taliban member near the airport with a makeshift whip made from a bicycle lock, using it against people in his way.

Previously, in July, the Taliban reportedly forced women out of their jobs at a bank when they captured the key southern city of Kandahar.

The Taliban has insisted it is not the same group as two decades ago but that has been treated with scepticism in many quarters.

Under their regime – deposed in 2001, when the US and Afghan militias overthrew them for sheltering Al Qaeda in the wake of the September 11 attacks – women could reportedly be beaten for showing even a small amount of skin.

General Sir Nick Carter: People generalise Taliban as 'bad guys'

"Women and girls continued to face gender-based discrimination and violence throughout Afghanistan, especially in areas under Taliban control, where their rights were violated with impunity and violent "punishments" were meted out for perceived transgressions of the armed group's interpretation of Islamic law," Amnesty International said in a look at the country's human rights situation in 2020.

In the UK, the head of the British military, General Sir Nick Carter, said the Taliban needed space to "demonstrate" if they would carry out the "inclusive" government the group had pledged.

He said they had been generalised as "bad guys" but said the situation was not as straight forward as that.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Footage shared with LBC shows alleged fireworks celebrating the Iranian president's death.

Fireworks and dancing as Iranians celebrate President Raisi’s death following helicopter crash

Police chiefs have been told to arrest fewer people due to a shortage of space for prisoners across England and Wales.

Police chiefs told to arrest fewer people to save space in overcrowded prisons

Donald Trump

Trump campaign says it will begin accepting cryptocurrency contributions

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty in Arizona election interference case

Prince Harry 'turned down the King's invitation to stay at a royal residence'.

Prince Harry ‘turned down King’s offer to stay in royal residence’ during UK trip because it ‘didn't come with security'

A screenshot taken from AP video showing a general view of northern Gaza as seen from southern Israel, before it was seized by Israeli officials

Israel says it will return video equipment seized from news organisation AP

Craig Mackinlay has said he wants to be known as the first 'bionic MP' after losing both his arms and legs to sepsis.

‘I’m the bionic MP’: Craig Mackinlay says he’s ‘lucky to be alive’ as he reveals he lost both feet and hands to sepsis

Former US president Donald Trump sits in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York

Defence rests without Donald Trump entering witness box in hush money trial

A veterinarian feeds a young howler monkey rescued amid extremely high temperatures in Tecolutilla, Tabasco state, Mexico

Howler monkeys ‘falling out of the trees like apples’ in sweltering Mexico

Mobile coverage is being expanded across the network.

Full list of London Underground stations to receive phone signal this summer - is yours listed?

Prince William hosted a garden party on behalf of his father King Charles

Prince William hosts rain-soaked Buckingham Palace garden party in absence of King Charles

Jan A P Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on Finding Neverland during the 77th Academy Awards in February 2005 in Los Angeles

Composer Jan A P Kaczmarek, Oscar winner for Finding Neverland, dies aged 71

Lawbreaking from the extreme-left is just as bad from the extreme-right, Robin Simcox has told LBC.

Lawbreaking by Just Stop Oil is as bad as similar acts by extreme-right, Commissioner for Countering Extremism says

Fred Roos

Fred Roos, Godfather Part II producer and longtime Coppola collaborator, dies

Matthew Trickett, 37, who was on bail after appearing in court accused of assisting the Hong Kong intelligence service

Former Royal Marine charged with spying for China on Hong Kong activists found dead in park in 'unexplained death'

Smokes rise to the sky after explosions in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel

UN halts food distribution in Rafah due to lack of supplies and insecurity