Although I haven’t found the new, improved location of the Taliban’s main web pages since they crashed/disappeared over the weekend, a lot of sites are out there happy to share the Taliban’s message.
One of them shared this “Open Letter of the Miserable and Oppressed Prisoners of Afghanistan sent to this Web site for publication” (PDF of letter at non-terrorist site here).
Canada is one of eleven countries listed (including a mysterious “Sheck”) as having “their own prisons where they have been giving torture to detainees continuously.”
The letter says the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) system is “a parallel government in Afghanistan” where “The governor, police chief and other Heads of departments are names without power and authority.”
In addition to highlighting a range of alleged abuses, the letter links back to the bad old Soviet days:
People condemn the communist rulers of the reign of the former Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan for bulldozing prisoners underground at the polygon area but the current democrat rulers did the same carnage in But Khak and Arzan Qimat area of Kabul. However, the media is tight-lipped because this is democracy!
In addition to calling for better prison conditions, the right for prisoners to “strike” for better conditions, and an end to alleged torture, the letter writer(s) seek an end to “private” prisons:
Private prisons have no justification to exist. All such prisons should be closed and the perpetrators brought to book. For example, the prisons run by warlords, commanders, prisons in far-flung areas should be closed so that the unscrupulous commanders and rulers would not be able to administer punishment to prisoners as per their discretion.
I can’t say for certain this was generated by the Taliban, but it is on a site happy to share previous Taliban statements. The opening statement (“In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate”) is also an honourific seen in other jihadi statements.
Is it Tailban propaganda? Maybe not.
Is it something the Taliban is happy to have out there? More than likely.
Why? Maybe they’ve been reading the Canadian papers and hope to piggyback a bit?