March 21, 2021


In the past six months, there has been a rise in murders and violence in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban. Victims of violence in Afghanistan include journalists, human rights activists, judicial workers, doctors, and people from all walks of life. For the Taliban, any displeasure is met with violence.

The Afghan government and the Taliban began discussing peace talks in September, and this was when the murder rates began to skyrocket.

Violence in Afghanistan: The Rise in Murders

The United Nations released a shocking statistic in February that demonstrated the gruesome nature of Afghanistan. They revealed that in 2020, more than 700 people were murdered in planned assassinations. Attempted assassinations wounded an additional 540 people.

There was a 45% increase in civilian deaths from 2019 to 2020. The violence in the country is spiking, and regular people are dealing with the consequences. There have been more than 60 people killed in 2021 in planned murder efforts. Despite peace negotiations, the rate is still on the rise.

Afghanistan has experienced a lot of violence over the years between wars and civil uprisings. However, the latest growth in domestic murders is unprecedented. High-profile people and citizens with prestigious backgrounds have been the main targets.

Kabul University professor Faiz Mohammad Fayez was shot walking into a mosque for morning prayer. Additionally, there was an influx of murders for local news anchors and journalists in the country. The Taliban has targeted people that are preaching ideologies that go against the terror organization’s extremist beliefs.

Journalists Lives at Risk

The Geneva convention considers attacks against journalists a war crime. Sadly, journalists have been a primary target of the Taliban for exposing the violence occurring in the country.

The Afghan Journalists Safety Committee has been opening up shelters for journalists in the country. Also, the Committee has been delivering bulletproof vests for journalists to wear while they are reporting. Bulletproof vests should help prevent some deaths, but they will not end the assassination attempts. Journalists need greater protection.

Who is Responsible?

The Taliban has been responsible for the majority of the killings in Afghanistan. However, ISIS has taken responsibility for some of the murders. Recently, ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of five women, including four journalists and a doctor.

Women have been the primary target of ISIS and the Taliban. One woman, who requested anonymity because of the death threats she has received, spoke out recently. She said:

“The Taliban are demonstrating their power. They are targeting journalists and civil society — people who can raise their voice. People who can tell the international community what is happening. They want to shut them up.”

The Taliban has denied many of the murders in the country. In most cases, they blame the Afghanistan government for false acquisitions. Making matters worse, conspiracy theories are popping up. Some theories believe civilians are posting lists of individuals online that have gone against conservative beliefs.

In response, the Taliban has seen these lists and taken action against these individuals who are speaking out. The Taliban are still committing the murders. However, terror organization heads don’t appear to be planning those murders.

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