U.N. staff in Afghanistan dealing with threats and harassment, fear for their lives

There are still people thinking that this might be a kinder and gentler Taliban.
United Nations
United Nations
(Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

United Nations employees in Afghanistan are suffering "harassment and intimidation" from the Taliban since their surprisingly swift rise to power in Afghanistan last month.

"We are, however, increasingly worried by the growing number of incidents of harassment and intimidation against our national staff," said Deborah Lyons, the U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, in a Sept. 9 news release.

"We will continue to do everything possible to support our staff and keep them from harm's way," she added. "The U.N. cannot conduct its work—work that is so essential to the Afghan people—if its personnel are subjected to intimidation, fear for their lives, and cannot move freely."

An internal U.N. security document obtained by Reuters on Aug. 25, according to The Epoch Times, described numerous incidents of physical and psychological abuse from five days before the Taliban took power.