Taliban leaders recently spoke out against Human Rights Watch, a United States-based human rights organization that issued a report accusing the fundamentalist Islamic militia of violent "ethnic cleansing" during their takeover of the Northern Afghanistan city, Mazar-i Sharif, in August. The report, based on interviews with eyewitnesses who fled the massacre, describes an indiscriminate "killing frenzy" as the Taliban came into the city and singled-out the Hazaras, a Shi'ite minority in Afghanistan, for torture and execution.
A broadcast issued by Radio Kabul claimed that the report has no basis in fact and was designed to damage the image of the Taliban. The Taliban has extended an invitation to the United Nations to take a closer look into the killings to determine the truth. Human Rights Watch has also encouraged the UN to investigate the massacre.
The Taliban blame opposition forces for the Mazar-i Sharif killings and claim that the resulting deaths were just casualties of war. The Radio Kabul broadcast stated, "They [human rights groups] have been holding Taliban responsible for the killing of those who in fact were killed in fighting."
The actual number of those killed during the Mazar-i Sharif massacre has yet to be determined.
11/25/2015 Afghan Women Launch 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence - Afghanistan marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and begun participating in the worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which is being called in Afghanistan "Peace from Home to the World." During the launch day's event, which was attended by government officials, including First Lady Rula Ghani and women's rights activists, speakers expressed their commitment to ending violence against women.
First Lady, Rula Ghani gave a speech on ending violence against women and supporting women by stating that "war often leads society towards violence and this violence is in violation of human dignity. . . .