Life for LGBT people in Afghanistan was already dangerous, and now that the Taliban have seized control, they fear for their lives.
Under Afghanistan laws, LGBT people, particularly gay men, could have been arrested and taken to court for their sexuality.
According to the BBC, since the Taliban seized control of major cities in Afghanistan last week, a gay man’s sexuality being revealed could have him killed on the spot.
“It’s not hyperbole to say that the Taliban will do what Nazis did to homosexuals: weed them out and exterminate them from Afghan society,” tweeted Nemat Sedat, the first gay Afghan to come out publicly.
The Taliban are an extremist military group who took control of the country’s capital city last week to enforce extreme Islamic ideals.
Under the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia Law, homosexuality is strictly prohibited and punishable by death.
Under the previous period of Taliban rule between the late 90s and 2001, the militant group were known to execute gay men.
“There are only two penalties for gays: either stoning or he has to stand behind a wall that falls on him. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 metres high,” Taliban judge Gul Rahim told Bild in July.
My prayers go out to all LGBT members in Afghanistan rn. 😔🙏 https://t.co/0AqbIlXqgR
— 🐴Ben K.O.: Shortstack till I die! (@H0rseHeadBackup) August 22, 2021
I just sent my donation to the Rainbow railroad an organization that helps LGBT escape persecution, with their main focus being Afghanistan. Please help me support our brothers and sisters over there https://t.co/kxgEDhOFGs
— Kayleb (@KaylebAlexander) August 22, 2021
The full-scale attack on Afghanistan by the military group began after the United States pulled most of its troops from the country.
The Taliban resurfaced to reclaim the territories that they had lost 20 years ago.
“We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people…We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others,” said Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Naeem.
Many countries are developing dedicated refugee programs for Afghan citizens forced to flee the country.
The Government must do everything it can to protect LGBT+ Afghans – including granting aslyum to as many as possible.https://t.co/vZsA3P0vdu
— LGBT+ Labour (@LGBTLabour) August 20, 2021
Australia is set to allow 3000 places within its already established humanitarian visa program, for those currently escaping Afghanistan.
This number is not an additional intake to the already existing 13,750 humanitarian visas offered each year.
Canada has discussed plans to resettle more than 20,000 Afghans (in addition to the current refugee visa allowance), particularly those most vulnerable such as women, LGBTIQ+ members, humanitarians and reporters.
The UK has also said they will provide a matched 20,000 additional refugee visas, with the first 5,000 given to the priority groups.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has spoken out about these countries efforts saying “Australia is not going into that territory” and has “no plans” to operate a model at a similar scale.
And this is how we treat those who have worked with Australia for years on the ground in Afghanistan …. https://t.co/8v8AdCHg7t
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) August 24, 2021
By no means the end of the crisis for women and girls in Afghanistan, but a significant positive step today as 75 people linked with the women’s national team – including players, officials and their families – are evacuated to Australia this morning https://t.co/u0qokq9BJO
— Katie Whyatt (@KatieWhyatt) August 24, 2021