Two years have passed since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan. The world, and the United Nations at its top, are still watching the daily and heinous crimes of this group in Afghanistan in complete silence. In front of the eyes of the world, the Taliban canceled all applicable laws and national and international promises without any legal obligations. It took away all the personal, civil and legal freedoms of women, and by issuing medieval decrees, they disrupted the life and activities of half of the country’s population. By arresting, suppressing and torturing civil, union and university activists, they silenced the process of people’s lawsuits and demands, and they disappeared, imprisoned, tortured and suppressed a large number of protestors, journalists, artists, etc.
In the meantime, it is clear to everyone that the members of the LGBTQ community in Afghanistan are among the most marginalized social groups. This society has faced the experience of repression and oppression at different levels for many years. Sexist culture, extreme and bigoted mentality, criminal policies in the previous corrupt government and now the Taliban are only part of the problem and examples of oppression of this group. Specifically, after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, three major groups were the targets of the Taliban’s objected violence which are human rights activists, civil servants of the former government and members of the LGBT community. According to reliable reports, during the last two years, many members of the LGBT community were mysteriously killed or disappeared. After being arrested, some others were tortured and sexually assaulted in prisons, and many were stoned to death in distant provinces and, in the worst case, sexually exploited.
Parallel to the current and structural violence, studies show that after the Taliban returned to power, a large number of members of the LGBT community lost their lives due to suicide. According to the latest findings, most of these people were lesbians, trans and transgender women. Over the past two years, a large number of lesbian and trans women have been forced into marriage. We have also received reports that the Taliban have established private prisons for members of the LGBT community in large provinces in parts of Afghanistan. According to our findings, at least two transgender individuals under the age of 19 were transferred to one of these prisons after being identified by the Taliban in Herat, where they were tortured and raped.
At the same time, during this period, we have witnessed the increasing migration of a large number of members of the LGBT community to neighboring countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Turkey through unsafe and risky ways. The suffocating political conditions and the criminalization of non-binary tendencies and identities in these countries have exposed them to the threat of deportation to Afghanistan. Reports received from Turkey also indicate the experience of discrimination, deprivation and violence, as well as the risk of deportation to Afghanistan by the Turkish government.
However, the governments involved in the tragedy of Afghanistan, contrary to their promises, have not yet taken serious and sufficient measures to save the lives of these most vulnerable groups. For example, as it was said, a large number of members of the LGBTQ community have fled to neighboring countries through illegal and dangerous routes due to the increase in violence and threats, and they need a quick exit from the dangerous field, but the prerequisite for joining the resettlement program of the German federal government is residence in Afghanistan and does not include people who left Afghanistan. We believe that this program needs immediate implementation and should be developed based on the needs and priorities of vulnerable groups.
We believe that the world has remained silent in front of this widespread and systematic crime against humanity in Afghanistan. In these two years, we have documented a small part of the terrible crimes that the Taliban have committed against the LGBTIQ community in Afghanistan. Our documentary reports indicate that at least ten members of the Afghan Rainbow community are currently in the custody of the Taliban. We, the Afghan LGBT activists have tried many times to become the voice of the most silent part of Afghanistan and other protesters against the Taliban, but it seems that the eyes and ears of the world are not willing to see and hear.
We, the activists ask the United Nations, human rights organizations and countries of the world to break this annoying silence towards the LGBT community. We want to end the silence of the international community regarding these tragedies as soon as possible. We want justice for the LGBT community of Afghanistan to be raised and realized. We want the countless crimes of the Taliban against the LGBTQ community in Afghanistan to be investigated and documented and its perpetrators should be held accountable in independent courts, and human rights, as stated in its charter, should not be limited to geographic boundaries, gender identities, and certain social groups. We believe that what is happening in Afghanistan is a clear example of gender apartheid and human crime.
We hereby request the United Nations, human rights organizations and countries that claim and support human rights to:
1- Recognize the gender apartheid against the LGBT community and women in Afghanistan.
2- Break the silence and stop normalizing the tragedy against the LGBTQ community of Afghanistan.
3- Do not exclude members of the LGBT community of Afghanistan from participating in conferences related to Afghanistan.
4- Investigate Taliban’s crimes against the LGBT community in Afghanistan and make the perpetrators of this crime accountable.
5- Take immediate and necessary human rights measures to help the members of the LGBT community in Afghanistan, who are the main targets of hateful violence and attacks in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey.
6- Sanction the Taliban on all global platforms and apply maximum diplomatic pressure to this group.
7- Avoid paying ransom and tolerating the Taliban in any form and level, because this is a betrayal of humanity and in clear contradiction with the basic provisions of the Charter of Human Rights.
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