A gay man was executed in Afghanistan by members of the Taliban recently, who then sent video of the horrific murder to the man's family.
Activists from the local fledgling LGBTQ+ activist group Behesht Collective told Pink Newsextremists from the Taliban kidnapped Hamed Sabouri, 22, from Kabul, videotaped shooting him in the back of the head, and then sent tape of the murder to Sabouri's mother. The kidnapping and execution took place in August, but is only now being reported in the media.
"Life is hell for every LGBT Afghan," Bahar, a gay man and member of Behesht Collective, told the outlet, also adding that, "Taliban terrorists are worse than wild animals."
Bahar was a friend of Sabouri, and said the shy young man had dreams of becoming a doctor before the Taliban seized power last year following the abrupt departure of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan. Since then, the Taliban have commenced a campaign of targeting, torturing, and killing anyone suspected of being LGBTQ+, creating a climate of fear and terror.
Bahar said he learned of Sabouri's execution via cell phone, causing him to immediately delete all pictures of and communications with Sabouri. The Taliban will regularly seize the phones of men suspected of being gay. Some gay men in the country have been scrubbing or even deleting their social media accounts, as the Taliban will regularly search for profiles with LGBTQ+ content.
Another friend placed blame for Sabouri's execution murder squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. and its coalition partners, saying their inaction resulted in the death of Sabouri and untold others.
"His execution was deliberate and outside of any legal framework," Nemat Sadat told Pink News. "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."
Sadat, an activist who helps gay men flee across the border to neighboring Pakistan, said he has chosen to stay in the country and help others escape the terror.
Last year, a gay man using the pseudonym Gabir reported his boyfriend had been seized by the Taliban. After his execution, they returned his dismembered body parts as a warning. Another gay man now in hiding for his safety reported last year that he was burned and tortured by the Taliban. Earlier this year, a gay nonbinary person reported they felt "alone" after the Taliban tortured and stabbed them 18 times with a knife.
"Shame on you, it is our time to finish people like you," the unidentified stabbing victim said his attackers told him.
Sadly, Sadat believes the worst is yet to come.
"The death of Hamed Sabouri is further proof that the Taliban will not stop until they eradicate all gay people from Afghanistan," Sadat said.