Afghan volleyball player beheaded by new Taliban regime

Mahjabin Hakimi, a player for the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was killed more than a month ago and her family was coerced not to talk


An Afghan social network has published the images of the death of volleyball player Mahjabin Hakimi. The media outlet published the content of the young woman's throat being slit. Although the images were published only a few hours ago, her death occurred on 13 August this year, when the revolution was at its height and the Taliban were on the verge of taking the country's capital. The press has learned these details from the coach of the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, where Hakimi played. The team leader used the pseudonym Suraya Afzali, so that she could not be identified, and contacted the Persian Independent. The woman claimed that no one had been able to report her disappearance or her death, as the girl's family was coerced not to talk.

Afzali also told the Persian newspaper that the situation for female players in sports is at risk. For one thing, the Taliban have been searching for female athletes for quite some time and, for example, in volleyball, there are only two women representing the country. The coach commented that "all the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the female athletes are in a bad situation, afraid and desperate for what might happen. They have all been forced to travel and live in places they don't know".

Thanks to the BBC we were able to hear the testimony of Zahra Fayaci, an athlete who was able to escape in time, and have full access to the situation women are living in Afghanistan. "The Taliban told the families not to let the women play sports, or else they would respond with violence. Many of them are so afraid that they have even burned their kits and everything related to sports," says the Afghan woman.

Jugadora de voleibol de AfganistánSince August of this year, the Taliban seized power in the country. As soon as they seized power, they began to infringe on human rights and freedom of expression, which, to this day, is a danger to the people of the Asian country. Many citizens have even had to resort to fleeing their homes, leaving their lives behind. But it is women and girls who bear the brunt of these rights violations. Since the last time the Taliban were in power, between 1996 and 2001, women were subjected to various kinds of humiliation, whether it was because of their type of clothing, being alone in the street, etc., for which they were punished with stonings, beatings in the middle of the street, executions in squares and death sentences. Nor were they given the right to study or to vote. As soon as the previous government fell, these rights were gradually restored, including more rights such as the right to run a business, to study at university, etc. 

But since the end of August, women have again feared for their rights. One of them is the prohibition to work, as under the previous regime they were not allowed to go to their workplace and could only resign themselves to being housewives. Only those who worked in hospitals were allowed to go to work. Another thing the government did in the 1990s was to prohibit the schooling of girls over the age of 8, as well as the separation of boys and girls so that there would be no coeducation. And as of today, it is still not known when women will be able to take their place in schools again, as the Taliban regime only stated that from 17 September, men would be able to resume their school life. This situation has meant that families, finding themselves in poverty, have had to employ young girls to make ends meet. There have also been reprisals against the women who were part of the former government, most of whom have had to flee elsewhere, against the police and even against female judges, who have been threatened both by the Taliban and by the prisoners who were released by the regime on 15 August. Although they have tried to demonstrate, the Taliban have violently repressed all protests. 

Afghanistan is becoming a country that violates human rights, especially of women and girls, and the UN and global human rights organisations need to do something about it to ensure freedom of rights and freedom of expression for the Afghan people.