Taliban beheaded female volleyball player, posted photos online, coach says


An Afghan volleyball player on the girls’ national team was beheaded by the Taliban — with gruesome photos of her severed head then posted on social media, according to her coach.

Mahjabin Hakimi, one of the best players in the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was slaughtered in the capital city of Kabul as troops searched for female sports players, her coach told the Persian Independent.

She was killed earlier this month, but her death remained mostly hidden because her family had been threatened not to talk, claimed the coach, using a pseudonym, Suraya Afzali, over safety fears.

Images of Hakimi’s severed neck were then published on Afghan social media, according to the paper, which did not say how old she is.

Conflicting reports online suggested that happened earlier, with an apparent death certificate suggesting she was killed was Aug. 13 — the final days of the Taliban’s insurgency before seizing Kabul.

Two members of Mahjabin Hakimi managed to flee the country while the rest of the team and her family were threatened into silence about Mahjabin Hakimi's death.
Two members of Mahjabin Hakimi managed to flee the country while the rest of the team and her family were threatened into silence about Mahjabin Hakimi’s death.
Twitter

However, the Payk Investigative Journalism Center said its sources also confirmed that Hakimi “was ‘beheaded’ by the Taliban in Kabul.” The governing group has yet to comment, Payk Media said.

Mahjabin Hakimi was slaughtered in capital Kabul as Taliban troops searched for female sports players.
Mahjabin Hakimi was slaughtered in capital Kabul as Taliban troops searched for female sports players.
Twitter

Afzali told the Persian Independent that she was speaking out to highlight the risk female sports players face, with only two of the women’s national volleyball team having managed to flee the country.

“All the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the women athletes are in a bad situation and in despair and fear,” she told the paper. “Everyone has been forced to flee and live in unknown places.”

One of the players who escaped, Zahra Fayazi, told the BBC last month that at least one of the players had been killed.

“We don’t want this to repeat for our other players,” she told the broadcaster from her new home in the UK

“Many of our players who are from provinces were threatened many times by their relatives who are Taliban and Taliban followers.

Many women face persecution from the Taliban due to the fact the extremist group believes that women should be subservient to men and not be allowed any rights.
Many women face persecution from the Taliban due to the fact the extremist group believes that women should be subservient to men and not be allowed any rights.
PA Images/Sipa USA
Taliban members stop women protesting for women's rights in Kabul. The Taliban allegedly beat several journalists for attempting to cover the protest.
Taliban members stop women protesting for women’s rights in Kabul. The Taliban allegedly beat several journalists for attempting to cover the protest.
BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images

“The Taliban asked our players’ families to not allow their girls to do sport, otherwise they will be faced with unexpected violence,” Fayazi said.

“They even burned their sports equipment to save themselves and their families. They didn’t want them to keep anything related to sport. They are scared,” she said.

Afghan women chant slogans and hold placards during a women's rights protest in Kabul on October 21, 2021
Afghan women chant slogans and hold placards during a women’s rights protest in Kabul on Oct. 21, 2021.
BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images
A Taliban soldier holds his gun as he stands amid the protesters during the anti-Pakistan protest in Kabul, Afghanistan.
A Taliban soldier holds his gun as he stands amid the protesters during the anti-Pakistan protest in Kabul, Afghanistan.
WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Another teammate who escaped told the BBC everyone was “shocked” when they heard that one of their team had been killed.

“I’m sure it was the Taliban,” said Sophia, a pseudonym to protect her family members still in Afghanistan. “Maybe we will lose other friends,” she said.



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