Gay Afghan boy burned by Taliban

Afaaq Amirkhel

A homosexual young man in Afghanistan’s second largest city, Kandahar, became victim of a hate crime instigated by his effeminate mannerisms. He was slapped, kicked in stomach and ultimately thrown a kettle full of sweltering hot tea upon which burned left side of his shoulder/chest region. Victim, alias Afaaq Amirkhel (for identity protection), was able to protect his face by turning it away on attack’s perpetration, he terms his close fatal encounter as “a miracle to have come out of alive”.

Afaaq, who is an activist of gay community despite living in one of the most conservative countries of the world, inhospitable for people with his job description, words his nightmare; “I had gone out to get my passport wearing the western clothing I donned before Taliban rule, an armed Talib fighter came from behind and stopped me, roughly pulling my arm. He asked me, what I was doing there. I gave him my reason but he raised objection in response as to why I was wearing western-inspired clothes, I told him it’s casual wear, he however, posed a new question ‘why are you here?’ and aggressively slapped me on face. That moment I knew it wasn’t about my attire, the Talib had guessed my sexual orientation or at least knew I was unlike others looking at my feminine body mannerisms, which are a very obvious giveaway”.

Afaaq Amirkhel

Afaaq continues, “Talib insisted I tell him who I really was but I kept my lips sealed. Infuriated inquirer then clutched the pot he was drinking tea from and dumped it on me, my reflexes were quick enough for me to turn my face away which prevented it from scalding but it fell on my chest, badly burning it. After that, I have no idea who grabbed and moved me out of that vicinity, the agony was intolerable, I couldn’t think of anything and have developed post-traumatic insomnia, I can relatively get a little sleep to some days ago, but even that is not a given”.

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