Taking “Civilian Criminals” as Hostages: Civilian Victims of Abductions by the Afghan Taliban
This chapter explores the impact of Taliban abductions on the civilian population in Afghanistan. The first section shows how the Taliban regularly targeted two categories of individuals, that is, members of the Afghan security forces and civilians (e.g., people working for the Afghan regime and their foreign backers, employees of non-governmental organizations, journalists, tourists). The second section analyses the main objectives the Taliban wanted to achieve with the abductions (e.g., prisoners exchange, ransom, withdrawal of foreign troops). The last section shows how the Taliban violated a number of norms of customary international law—not only the prohibition of hostage taking, but also the prohibition of murder, the prohibition of torture and other forms of inhuman treatment, and the prohibition of forced displacements.
KeywordsAfghanistan Afghan Taliban Abductions Hostage taking Civilian victims Motives for abductions Customary international law
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