KABUL (Pajhwok): The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Sunday vehemently denounced the mutilation of 11 civilians by militants in the western province of Herat.
In interviews with UNAMA human rights monitors, the victims said the Taliban cut off their index fingers as punishment for having voted in Saturday’s runoff presidential election.
“Like millions of their countrymen and women, these ordinary Afghans were exercising their fundamental right to determine the future path of their country through voting and not through violence and intimidation,” the UNAMA chief said.
Ján Kubiš, also the secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement the individuals had already defeated by their vote those who promoted terror and violence.
“Such abhorrent acts like this inhuman cruelty against Afghan civilians are a manifestation of weakness and desperation on the part of those who committed this crime, as they know they have lost the support of the Afghan people,” he added.
UNAMA reiterated attacks on civilians, including mutilations, were serious violations of international humanitarian law, which parties to the armed conflict -- including all anti-government elements -- must uphold.