Gay Afghan burned by Taliban says international LGBT+ community has ‘forgot about us’

A gay man from Afghanistan who was burned by a Taliban member has said he is “shocked” by the lack of support and solidarity shown by the international LGBT+ community.

Sohil – whose surname has been withheld to protect his identity – is a young gay Afghan whose life was thrown into disarray when the Taliban seized power in August.

Afghanistan was never accepting of homosexuality, but he was in contact with a small network of other gay people. Now, they’re all “living in the shadows” – hiding themselves to evade capture and torture by the extremist group.

“Imagine you have all the great hopes for your life, you have everything, and then one day you wake up and everything is gone,” he tells PinkNews. “I lost my university, I lost my life, I lost my community. Even the boys I was in contact with, they are all living in the shadows. They are all hiding themselves.”

His daily life is very different to what it was before the Taliban took over.  Sohil says he was just a “normal person” before extremists weaponised his sexuality. He was a medical student who had ambitions to get out of Afghanistan and build a life for himself. Now, he’s been forced to flee his home – he told his family his history of supporting human rights could make him a Taliban target.

Sohil is in danger every day he remains in Afghanistan. He was recently left traumatised after a Taliban member burned him with scalding water. The incident occurred when he went to a local government office in an effort to get a passport and a copy of his birth certificate.

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