Amnesty urges Taliban to protect Afghanistan's Hazara Shia community after attacks leave 120 dead

Amnesty urges Taliban to protect Afghanistan's Hazara Shia community after attacks leave 120 dead
Multiple attacks targeting Afghanistan's Hazara Shia minority over the past few days, claimed by the Islamic State group, have left 120 people dead.
2 min read
09 August, 2022
Afghanistan's Hazaras have been persecuted by governments and militia groups for decades [Getty]

Amnesty International has urged Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement to protect members of the Hazara Shia minority in Afghanistan after a series of attacks over the last few days left around 120 people dead. 

"The systematic attacks on the minority Hazara Shiite community in Afghanistan may amount to crimes against humanity and should be unequivocally condemned," Zaman Sultani, Amnesty International’s South Asia regional researcher said in a statement released on Monday. 

On Sunday, the United Nations said that at least 120 people were killed in recent blasts and attacks targeting the Hazara minority and claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attacks against the community came during the month of Muharram, a sacred time for Shia Muslims who mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

The tenth day, known as Ashura, is the most important day in the month, and the UN has urged "greater security for minorities so that Ashura can be marked without further attacks".

Hazara Muslims have been regularly targeted and persecuted over the years by various Afghan governments and militia groups.

In 2004, extremists in Iraq targeted Shia Muslims during Ashura killing over 100 people.

Amnesty International called on the Taliban to carry out an investigation into the attacks, and added that "those suspected of criminal responsibility for these crimes under international law and human rights violations should face justice in fair trials before ordinary civilian courts and without recourse to the death penalty".