Gay, non-binary Afghan stabbed 18 times and left for dead by Taliban

Gay non-binary Afghan left 'hopeless and alone' after being stabbed 18 times by Taliban

A gay, non-binary Afghan has said they feel “hopeless” after they were stabbed by the Taliban 18 times in a horrific attack.

Sara, who did not want to disclose their surname, claimed members of the Taliban “wanted to kill them” when they were attacked last week.

The 23-year-old told the PA news agency they heard the Taliban saying: “Shame on you, it is our time to finish people like you.”

They were left with 18 wounds, including injuries to their legs, stomach and back, which needed stitches.

“I’m really hopeless”, they told PA.

Nemat Sadat, a gay Afghan-American activist, has helped to pay for Sara’s hostel and food since the attack. Sadat has been fundraising via a GoFundMe page to rescue LGBT+ Afghans since the Taliban took over in August 2021.

Sadat, who lives in California, said: “Before the Taliban came to power, you had so many people that were transgender and non-binary.

“They were working as celebrity make-up artists on Afghan television; people had fashion shows, concerts – it was so visible.”

He added that the queer community in Afghanistan “feel that they’re so defeated, they can’t do anything because even their allies have abandoned them and turned their back”.

Demonstrators in London protest outside the Home Office demanding a safe passage to the UK for Afghan refugees (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

A report by Human Rights Watch and OutRight Action International said in January that LGBT+ Afghans are facing an “increasingly desperate situation” since the Taliban takeover.

The 43-page report, entitled “Even If You Go To The Skies, We’ll Find You”, features interviews from 60 queer Afghans conducted between October and December last year, and details horrific instances of threats, violence, and sexual assault.

“It is difficult to overstate how devastating – and terrifying – the return of Taliban rule has been for LGBT+ Afghans,” said J Lester Feder, senior fellow for emergency research at OutRight Action International.

“We spoke with LGBT+ Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them.

“For those LGBT+ people who want to flee the country there are few good options; most of Afghanistan’s neighbours also criminalise same-sex relations.”