February 8, 2023 5:54 am


Anti-LGBT Violence on a Rise, Taliban Murders a Gay Medical Student in Afghanistan

It is not only the Taliban regime that has threatened the LGBT communities in Afghanistan, the earlier US-backed Ashraf Ghani regime had also imposed strict restrictions on them.

2min Read

In continuation of the deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban executed a medical student from Kabul University as he was gay. The incident was reported by the British news daily The Guardian.

According to the Guardian, Hamed Sabouri was abducted by Taliban gunmen at a checkpoint in Kabul. He was tortured and finally murdered.

Quoting Hameed Sabouri’s family, the Guardian reported that he was detained at a checkpoint in Kabul in August 2022 and was subsequently tortured for three days before being shot in the head. The Taliban then sent the video of his execution to his family, who now has left Afghanistan for their own safety.

The incident has come to the fore after several months as the fear of the Taliban is high among the LGBTQ community in Afghanistan. Many of them have left the country for their safety after receiving death threats from the Taliban.

LGBT people and others, who do not conform to the rigid gender norms of the Taliban have been receiving death threats. This has put the safety of their lives at risk since the Taliban took full control of the country on August 15, 2021.

The findings from the interview conducted by The Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International were shocking. 60 LGBT Afghans were interviewed by the organization from October to December 2021. 

“Many of those interviewed reported being attacked, sexually assaulted, or directly threatened by members of the Taliban because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” 

“Others reported abuse from family members, neighbors, and romantic partners, who now support the Taliban or believe that they had to take action against LGBT people close to them to ensure their own safety. Some fled their homes after facing attacks by Taliban members.” 

It is not only the Taliban regime that has threatened the LGBT communities in Afghanistan. The US-backed Ashraf Ghani regime has also imposed strict actions against them.

Then Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani passed a law in 2018 that criminalized same-sex sexual relations and made it a criminal offense. It is that the situation has worsened now under the Taliban regime.

The Taliban considers homosexuality against Sharia or Islamic law. They have even termed that “ for homosexuals, death by stoning is the only punishment”.

The only option left to the LGBT people in Afghanistan is to relocate to a different safer country. However, leaving Afghanistan is challenging as well many countries have even threatened to repatriate them.

Countries like Pakistan and Iran which borders Afghanistan have also criminal provisions in their laws regarding homosexuality. This makes these countries unsafe destinations for LGBT Afghans. So far only the United Kingdom has announced to resettle them.

The condition of the LGBT community in Afghanistan is deteriorating every day. International organizations should use their diplomatic leverage to force the Taliban into taking action regarding the issue.

The United Nations should help the LGBT Afghans to settle in countries whose legal and policy frameworks protect the rights of LGBT people.

The Indian Affairs Staff
The Indian Affairs Staff

For India Matters

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