Man ‘raped and beaten by the Taliban in Kabul after he was duped into meeting them’

·2-min read
The Afghan LGBT community says they are fearing the worst now the Taliban has returned to power after 20 years  (EPA)
The Afghan LGBT community says they are fearing the worst now the Taliban has returned to power after 20 years (EPA)

Taliban members beat and raped a gay man after they tricked him into meeting them.

Two militants had pretended to be a friend that could help the man, who was in hiding, escape Afghanistan.

The victim, whose name has not been revealed to protect his identity, met them in Kabul after three weeks of talking online.

The Taliban members assaulted and raped him, the man’s friend and LGBT activist Artemis Akbary has told ITV.

They also forced the man to give them his father’s phone number, so that they could tell him his son is gay.

Mr Akbary, who now lives in Turkey, has said: “[The Taliban] are trying to tell the world ‘we are changed and we don’t have problems with women’s rights or human rights.’ They are lying.

“The Taliban hasn’t changed, because their ideology hasn’t changed.

“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.”

Mr Akbary has said that the threat to LGBT people in Afghanistan is greater than when the Taliban were in power from 1996 to 2001, as the Taliban now have social media as a way of gleaning information and setting traps for people.

LGBT organisations Rainbow Railroad and Stonewall have called on PM Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to urgently help people who are at risk of torture and death in the hands of the Taliban.

Mr Johnson and US President Joe Biden have spoken of “contingency plans” to help get more people out of Afghanistan now that their civilian evacuation efforts have come to an end.

Women have also been prime targets of the Taliban, despite the group’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid insisting that security forces will be “gentle and nice” to people under their rule.

The Taliban has reportedly gone door-to-door to force girls as young as 12 into “marriage” with militants as sex slaves, and has threatened anyone suspected of helping western forces during the 20-year war with summary executions.

Najla Ayoubi, a former Afghan judge and an activist who lives in the US, said earlier this month that Taliban fighters had set a woman on fire because the food she was forced to cook for them was not to their liking.

A number of women have been put into coffins and shipped to neighbouring countries so they can be used as sex slaves, she said.

Ms Ayoubi, now the chief of the coalition and global programmes at Every Woman Treaty, has lived in the US since 2015 after extremists in Afghanistan had targeted her and her family for decades.

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