A young gay man has been shot dead by the Taliban in Afghanistan because of his sexuality.
Hamed Sabouri, from Kabul, was killed in August, local activists have told PinkNews. He was just 22.
He was reportedly kidnapped by the Taliban and a video showing his murder sent to his family days later.
Bahar, another gay Afghan who knew the victim personally, told PinkNews Sabouri had dreams of becoming a doctor, but his hopes were stolen from him when the Taliban seized power in August 2021.
He described Hamed as a “shy” gay man with an infectious laugh.
“Life is hell for every LGBT Afghan,” Bahar said.
“Taliban terrorists are worse than wild animals.”
Bahar, who is a member of Afghanistan’s growing LGBTQ+ organisation the Behesht Collective, deleted all the pictures and videos he had of Sabouri on his phone after he learned of his murder.
Bahar lives in fear of being stopped and searched by the Taliban – he’s afraid that he would also be killed if they found out about his sexuality.
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, PinkNews has spoken to a number of LGBTQ+ Afghans who have had their phones searched by the Taliban.
Many have resorted to deleting their social media accounts in a desperate bid to stay safe, while many others have crossed the border into Pakistan where they are less likely to be killed.
Taliban wants to ‘eradicate’ LGBTQ+ people
Nemat Sadat, an Afghan activist who is fighting to have LGBTQ+ people evacuated from the country, told PinkNews that Sabouri’s death is the result of inaction from western governments, many of which have failed to take in adequate numbers of fleeing Afghans.
“The death of Hamed Sabouri is further proof that the Taliban will not stop until they eradicate all gay people from Afghanistan,” he said.
“His execution was deliberate and outside of any legal framework. I don’t understand how people in good conscience around the world sit idle while the Taliban continue to rule with a total disregard for human life.”
Sabouri’s killing is just the latest blow to Afghanistan’s embattled LGBTQ+ community.
Since the Taliban seized power, reports have circulated about queer people being beaten, raped and murdered as the regime ramps up its persecution of those who fall foul of Sharia law.
Most recently, it was reported that the Taliban had started using the monkeypox outbreak to harass and detain LGBTQ+ people.