Stop targeting journalists and protesters, says UN to Taliban

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The UN criticised the Taliban’s increasingly brutal response to nonviolent rallies, including the firing of live ammunition that killed many people, on Friday (September 10) and warned that almost all Afghan households were going hungry.
“We urge on the Taliban to immediately halt using force against individuals exercising their right to peaceful assembly and journalists reporting the protests, as well as the arbitrary imprisonment of those doing so,” said Ms Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office.
According to her office, since mid-August, armed fighters have used live fire and whips to clear crowds, killing at least four people. The Islamist hardliners who came to power on August 15 promised to govern more sensibly than they did during their notoriously repressive tenure from 1996 to 2001. They have, however, made it clear that they would not tolerate opposition.
Armed Taliban shooters dispersed hundreds of demonstrators around Afghanistan earlier this week, notably in Herat, where two people were killed. Ms Shamdasani said the rights office had also received reliable allegations that a man and a kid were killed as Taliban militants attempted to disperse crowds during last month’s national flag-raising ceremony.
“Firearms should only be utilized in the event of an instantaneous threat of death or serious injury,” she stated. At least five journalists were arrested on Wednesday, with two of them being badly assaulted for many hours.

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