New research from OutRight Action and Human Rights Watch has revealed the scale of abuse that gay and lesbian Afghans are enduring under the countries Taliban rulers. The report claims that LGBT+ Afghans are not only facing torture and gang rape from the Taliban themselves, but also from family members, friends and even former partners who believe they need to be seen to punish LGBT+ people so that they can escape punishment themselves.
For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments: either stoning, or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him.Taliban judge
A spokesperson for OutRight Action said, “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. It is difficult to overstate how devastating – and terrifying – the return of Taliban rule has been for LGBT Afghans.”
The report continues, “The Taliban have engaged in widespread rights abuses since retaking control of the country, including revenge killings, systematic discrimination against women and girls, severe restrictions on freedom of expression and the media, and land grabbing.
“In this context, marked by systematic abuse of power combined with virulent anti-LGBT sentiment, Taliban officials and their supporters have carried out acts of violence against LGBT people with impunity.”
The research includes some harrowing testimony. One gay man told of being beaten and gang-raped after being detained at a Taliban checkpoint, while a lesbian revealed that male members of her family had threatened to kill her after the Taliban returned to power.
In a recent interview with the German newspaper Bild, a Taliban judge declared, “For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments: either stoning, or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him.”