In an interview with DNA’s Founding Editor, Andrew Creagh, Afghanistan’s first openly gay public figure, Nemat Sadat, has described the dire circumstances many LGBTQIA+ face living under Taliban rule and what you can do to help them.
When asked to describe the situation in Afghanistan, Sadat said it’s, “the most vulnerable people, in the most dangerous country; that’s the scenario for LGBTQIA+ people… they’re hiding in closets, in basements, on rooftops, in alleys, in ditches. They’re on the run and internally displaced.”
“We haven’t seen anything like this since the Nazis,” he goes on to say about the treatment of LGBTQIA+ people in Afghanistan. “It’s actually scarier because they’re [the Taliban] not even taking people to concentration camps, they’re killing them point-blank.”
He tells a story of a landlord offering sanctuary to a gay couple. He says the Taliban put “plastic bags on their heads, they were dragged out” and the Taliban told the landlord that if he offered “this kind of filth” a safe haven again then they would do “what we do to other people”.
Sadat says all three men were killed and left in the street as a warning to those watching.
Sadat Has Compiled A List Of Five Hundred LGBTQIA+ Asylum Seekers
Sadat, who now lives in the US after fleeing Afghanistan in 2013 upon coming out publicly, has been working with volunteer organisations and contacting government members to help compile a list of LGBTQIA+ people who are desperate to be evacuated from Afghanistan and seek asylum in other countries. He says that since he announced that he was helping LGBTQIA+ get out, his inbox has been flooded, and has now compiled a list of around five hundred people who are seeking asylum due to their sexuality.
Sadat has said that some members of his list managed to get out through other means already, but in the last week he personally has been able to evacuate several dozen LGBTQIA+ people.
At this point in time, the US has not acknowledged that refugee status will be given on the basis of sexuality. However, Canada, the UK, Australia, and other countries have recognised LGBTQIA+ people as vulnerable and endangered people under the Taliban regime.