‘It’s a living nightmare’ – LGBT Afghans on life after the Taliban takeover

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04/03/2022

The panic-fuelled chaos that came to define last August’s invasion of Afghanistan may have subsided, but for the LGBT+ people still trapped and facing displacement, the trauma will remain forever ingrained in a psyche already scarred by war. It’s been nearly seven months since the Taliban’s violent takeover of Kabul, but still its effects continue to be felt. With growing reports of kidnap, beatings and executions — an already oppressed LGBT+ community has been forced to take desperate measures to avoid detection. Shortly after the Taliban’s sudden sweep to power, Metro.co.uk heard from five victims, all of whom were struggling to adjust to life under a group actively persecuting those within the LGBT+ community. Hiding their sexuality in a bid to evade capture, and fearing for their lives – Rabia, Ahmadullah, Sultan and Ismailzada spoke of the daily terrors they endured. From taking refuge in ditches to fleeing brutal ambushes, all five spent months desperately trying to escape knowing their lives were on the line.

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