Taliban militants surround TV host during live news show
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While homosexuality was criminalised in Afghanistan under the republic, LGBTQ+ Afghans are afraid the Taliban will bring back the death penalty for same-sex conduct. Reports have said Taliban forces are already targeting LGBQT+ Afghans, who are urging Western countries for help.
According to reports, an unnamed man in Afghanistan was promised safe passage out of the country after the Taliban took control.
Two members of the militant group deceived the man and attacked him.
Artemis Akbary, an Afghan LGBTQ+ rights activist based in Turkey, said: “Two people raped him, they beat him, and then demanded his father’s number so they could tell him his son was gay.”
The man survived the attack but still lives in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
Mr Akbary, told ITV the Taliban will not be lenient to LGBTQ+ people despite their promises to change since their last regime 20 years ago.
He told the broadcaster: “They are trying to tell the world ‘we are changed and we don’t have problems with women’s rights or human rights’ – but they are lying.
“The Taliban hasn’t changed, because their ideology hasn’t changed.
“They’ll make a profile account and deceive LGBTQ+ people by pretending they’re a member of the community.
“My friends in Afghanistan are scared, they don’t know what will happen to them in the future so they’re just trying to hide.”
The US and UK have finished their evacuation programme in Kabul’s airport, with an untold number of vulnerable people remaining stuck in Afghanistan.
Charities Rainbow Railroad and Stonewall have helped bring some of those people to safety, providing a list of LGBTQ+ Afghans within reach of Kabul airport and evacuation out of the country.
Kimahli Powell, chief executive at Rainbow Road told ITV “things will only get worse” for LGBTQ+ Afghan’s still in the country.
She added: “All signs indicate that people will face real danger in the weeks and months to come”
“The consistent message from those individuals is that they are in fear of their lives, but what happens if they cannot escape?”
Nemat Sadat, a gay Afghan novelist living in the US, told The i he is personally organising an airlift for LGBTQ+ Afghans, and added the Taliban are using new methods to target them.
He told the outlet: “A lot of people are telling me that the Taliban are frisking people, doing checks, going door to door in searches…
“Security personnel would bait gay or bisexual men to try to break the LGBT network.
“They would say, ‘I want to date you’ on social media sites or go on Grindr and meet them, kill them, and dispose of their body somewhere.”
When last in power in the 1990s, the Taliban enforced a strict version of sharia law and criminalised all sexual relationships outside of heterosexual marriage.
The militant faction would often publicly execute men and women for committing fornication and adultery and for engaging in sodomy.
However, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid claimed in an interview with The New York Times the group “want to build the future, and forget what happened in the past”.
In his first press conference, he promised the Taliban would honour women’s rights within the norms of Islamic law, without elaborating.
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