Afghan Social Media Users Frantically Deleting Accounts After Taliban Revenge Killings
Prominent Afghan activists and social media personalities have been rapidly deleting past posts and even their accounts altogether since the Taliban took power amid the US withdrawal last month. A new report in BCC details that “since 15 August, Afghans have been deleting photos and tweets from their past – and many have turned away from social media altogether for fear of being targeted by Taliban forces.”
Although in their official announcements the Taliban is purporting to offer amnesty for officials and supporters of the previous US-backed government, widespread reports of civilians being killed by Taliban forces have emerged since the group entered Kabul.
In recent days journalists are reportedly being targeted as well, and the Taliban has begun hanging bodies of “criminals” in public squares, such as recently in the large city of Herat.
The BBC interviewed dissidents with large social media followings, including “Fida” – who had this to say:
Speaking to the BBC, he claimed that after the Taliban gained control of Kabul, he was told by relatives that he was in danger for playing a detrimental role in the Taliban’s war against “occupiers”.
“They told my relatives that people will not forgive, despite the general amnesty,” he said, adding that his name appeared on a list describing people being “shot in the head wherever they are found”. According to Fida, the day after the Taliban’s takeover of the capital, on 16 August, he deleted all of his social media accounts.
He further described that his last Facebook post had been openly anti-Taliban and indicated he was looking to leave the country.
The Taliban’s defense minister Mohammad Yaqoob has recently admitted the government is aware of reports of “revenge killings”. He was recorded as saying, “Recently, some people have been killed deliberately [by our fighters] in some parts of the country,” RFERL reported.
But he emphasized, “Once we have declared a general amnesty, none of our fighters have the right to break that amnesty or violate it by settling personal scores or taking personal revenge.”
Meanwhile, in the continuing saga of now exiled US-backed leaders…
Hackers have taken over the former Afghan president’s #Facebook page and are posting messages suggesting that people support the #Taliban, according to his official Twitter account.https://t.co/yXwDtVcOyM
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) September 27, 2021
Another Afghan ‘influencer’ interviewed by BBC, identified as Haris, said of the Taliban, “They are still targeting people, killing people and searching for them,” he said, adding: “It’s just the beginning, just wait.” Haris added: “I don’t think any educated Afghan will be able to stay here.”
Less than two weeks ago the Taliban restored its office of Islamic sharia law enforcement, which it’s calling the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Ironically the ministry building in Kabul now used as its headquarters was previously the Ministry of Women’s Affairs – a government department now permanently shut down.
Tue, 09/28/2021 – 23:05