Taliban uses traditional Afghan method of ‘night letters’ to intimidate

Often used in rural communities, they are now being widely circulated in cities

New Delhi: The Taliban are pinning chilling ‘night letters’ on the doors of those they accuse of “working for the crusaders”.

The notes order their victims to attend a Taliban-convened court. Failure to do so will result in the death penalty, the Daily Mail reported.

The letters are a traditional Afghan method of intimidation. They were used by mujahideen fighters during the Soviet occupation and then by the Taliban as both a propaganda tool and a threat.

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Often used in rural communities, they are now being widely circulated in cities.

One of those to receive a warning was Naz, a 34-year-old father-of-six whose construction company helped the UK military build roads in Helmand and the runway at Camp Bastion, the report said.

He had applied for sanctuary in Britain under ARAP, the Afghan relocation programme, but had been rejected.

Naz said: “The letter was official and stamped by the Taliban. It is a clear message that they want to kill me. If I attend the court, I will be punished with my life.

“If I don’t, they will kill me, that is why I am in hiding, trying to find a way to escape. But I need help.”

Those received by former British translators are designed to both spread fear and compliance with Taliban directives with threats of violence or death if “demands are not met”, the Daily Mail report said

As in Naz’s case, that usually involves an interpreter surrendering to a Taliban court.

Shir, 47, worked on the front lines in Helmand and qualified for relocation. But he was unable to force his way through the airport to board an evacuation flight.

“My daughter found the letter on our door with a nail in it. It instructed me to surrender myself for the judgment of the court of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) or they would act like hunters to find me. They would then kill me.”

He immediately moved home and is now in hiding.

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