Despite promising "amnesty" to Afghan residents who worked with Western governments and organizations during the last 20 years of U.S. military occupation, Taliban forces in Afghanistan are now reportedly "hunting down" journalists and other supposed dissidents in order to execute them.
What are the details?
According to German news outlet Deutsche Welle, bloodthirsty militants on Thursday shot and killed a family member of an Afghan journalist who works with the Western media organization.
DW director general Peter Limbourg said the heinous attack was carried out during a house-to-house revenge search, during which another one of the unnamed journalist's family members was seriously injured. The journalist is reportedly safe, having escaped to Germany.
In a statement, Limbourg called on the German government to take action, exclaiming, "We are running out of time!"
"The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban yesterday is inconceivably tragic, and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves," Limbourg said. "It is evident that the Taliban are already carrying out organized searches for journalists, both in Kabul and in the provinces."
The New York Times on Friday detailed several other reports of the Taliban carrying out violence against Afghan journalists over the last several days:
Amdullah Hamdard, 33, who learned English as a teenager and translated for U.S. Special Forces — they gave him the nickname "Huggy Bear" — had spent the last four years working with Die Zeit newspaper. He was murdered by Taliban fighters on the street near his home in Jalalabad, the paper reported ...
... On Thursday, Taliban fighters beat two Afghan journalists while violently dispersing a protest in the eastern city of Jalalabad.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based watchdog group, noted other attacks against journalists in recent days, including the fatal shooting on Aug. 9 of a radio station manager in Kabul, and the kidnapping of a reporter in Helmand Province. Afghan press freedom groups blamed the Taliban for both incidents.
An American journalist, Wesley Morgan, tweeted this week, "Taliban searching my former interpreter's house (he's hiding out elsewhere and can see it via the app on his phone from his home security cameras)."
The violence is in direct contradiction to the public messaging espoused by Taliban leadership since taking control of the country in recent days.
"I must remind you that we forgive everyone because it is in the interest of peace and stability in Afghanistan," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced during a news conference on Tuesday. "All the groups that were confronting us are all forgiven."
However, it is revenge — not forgiveness — that has been observed, and not only against journalists. Taliban fighters have descended on communities to hunt down women and Christians, as well.