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Gay Afghan whose boyfriend was murdered by Taliban 'makes it safely to Canada'

Speaking to Attitude last August, Ahmadullah shared that his boyfriend had been murdered a week before.

2022-09-30

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Pexels

Attitude is very happy to report that a gay Afghan we spoke to last year as he attempted to flee his home country in the wake of the Taliban's takeover has made it safely to Canada.

The news was confirmed by the journalist Billy Stockwell on Thursday (29 September) Billy, who spoke to Ahmadullah (not his real name) for Attitude last year, confirmed on Twitter that Ahmadullah "has finally arrived in Canada against all the odds. He evaded the Taliban four times."

It's wonderful news to come out of a situation so terrifying. Ahmadullah told Attitude that "All Afghans and my relatives hate me. If anyone sees my face or name, they will inform the Taliban."

The week before he spoke to us, his boyfriend was murdered by the Taliban. "First, they took him out of his house, beat him and beheaded him. The Taliban said this is what we do to LGBT+, to set an example."

Ahmadullah's account is heartbreaking. "He was my world. We met in uni first semester. We were just classmates and then best friends, because everything was so common between us – music taste, favourite food, favourite movie, everything.

"Whenever we had break time we always used to go to a cafe and laugh together, listening to songs. We were so happy. Now, I’m lost and broken. I’m all alone here. He was my everything and I lost him."

Prior to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's takeover, a Taliban judge, Gul Rahim, said that 10-foot walls would be toppled on men who have gay sex in parts of Afghanistan controlled by the Islamist group. The alternative was stoning.

"For homosexuals, there can only be two punishments: either stoning or he must stand behind a wall that will fall down on him. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 metres high," Gul told the German newspaper Bild

The Taliban is a fundamentalist Islamist militia founded in 1994. From 1996 to 2001, it held power over roughly 66 percent of Afghanistan, where it enforced a strict version of Sharia law. It was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001 and returned to power as the US withdrew last August.

Ahmadullah, whose father and brother also died during the hostile takeover, shared that he had tried to take his own life twice but the memory of his boyfriend had kept him going. 

During his attempts to escape, he suffered a stab wound and had to wait for 10 hours in knee-deep water at Kabul airport.

He also told Attitude that he had ben trying to contact LGBTQ organisations and embassies to no avail.

"Will I ever be free and happy like other LGBT+?" Ahmadullah asked us. We hope now he can begin to.

Responding to the news that Ahmadullah was safe, the Afghan LGBTQ activist, Nemat Sadat, who had been helping Ahmadullah escape wrote online: "Ahmadullah was the hardest person to evacuate from Afghanistan.

"He was the 'most wanted' on the Taliban's LGBT+ kill list and we spent months trying to help him navigate from basements, ditches, rooftops, deserted homes, and the woods until we got him out!"

The International Organization for Migration recently confirmed that the 20,000th Afghan refugee had been resettled in Canada since August 2021.