I feel like “a human being for the first time” in my life, a gay Afghan man has said after arriving in the UK with 28 others from the LGBT community. The man – who the BBC is not naming for safety reasons – fled Afghanistan, fearing for his life under the Taliban. The hard-line Islamist group returned to power in August, after US-led troops left at the end of a 20-year presence. On Friday, a Taliban spokesman told Reuters news agency that the group would not respect gay rights. “Everything collapsed after the fall of Kabul,” the man told the BBC. “I was very depressed. I was counting my days to die. “Even I was a stranger in my own home and my bed. I felt I was a stranger in my hometown, Kabul.” The Taliban return sparked a mass exodus of people who believed they would be in danger if they stayed, including people who worked closely with the US and its allies, and a number of high-profile women.