Members of the LGBTQ+ community in Afghanistan expressed fear as the Taliban took over the country’s capital Kabul.
Death as punishment: Many members from the hidden LGBTQ+ community in Afghanistan are now talking to international media outlets to express how dangerous it is to live in the country under the rule of the Taliban.
- Before the takeover, members of the community could be persecuted under Afghan laws. However, with the Taliban in control of the country, LGBTQ+ members may face death as punishment. “Abdul,” 21, who is using a fake name, told BBC they could get “killed on the spot” if the Taliban discovered their identity, even though the military organization promised a different ruling and more opportunities for women.
- “Even if the Taliban accepts a woman in the government, in school, they will never accept gay or LGBT people,” Abdul said. “They will kill all of them on the spot.”
- “Rameen,” who works for the United Nations, recalls how he and others felt relatively safe when going out and visiting a hidden karaoke bar in Kabul before the Taliban takeover, where many members from the community gather, Insider reported.
- Now, the 37-year-old gay man describes what is happening in the country as a “nightmare,” adding, “I just hope that somebody comes and wakes me up from this bad dream.”
- “Sayed,” a 36-year-old gay man from northern Afghanistan’s Balkh province who is desperately seeking asylum, shared the same sentiment as Abdul. “It’s clear to me that as soon as the Taliban know that I am a gay man, they will kill me without even thinking about it,” he said.
Helping hand: Nemat Sadat, the first public figure in Afghanistan to advocate for LGBTQ rights, is one of the many people who are out helping LGBTQ+ Afghans apply for asylum, according to Reuters.
- He left the country in 2013 for the U.S. after receiving a fatwa and death threats for his advocacy.
- “It’s not hyperbolic to say that gay people will get weeded out and exterminated by the Taliban, just like the Nazis did,” Sadat said. “People are messaging me saying here’s my passport, here’s all my information, please get me out of this country, I’m going to die.”
- The Canadian government announced its plan to resettle more than 20,000 vulnerable Afghans, including “women leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, persecuted religious minorities, LGBTI individuals and family members of previously resettled interpreters.”
The names quoted in this article were fake names from the sources listed.
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