Taliban Attacked Afghan Women Athletes; Held Captives In Their Own Home

Taliban Attacked Afghan Women Athletes; Held Captives In Their Own Home

Amira [name changed], an Afghan woman athlete, writes, “I wish I didn’t exist.” “I didn’t make any mistakes. “Playing athletics is the only crime I’ve ever committed. ” Amira was one of the top judo fighters in the country before the Taliban took power in Kabul in August 2021. The Taliban attacked her home a few weeks ago, looking for credentials that would prove she was a member of the Afghan national team.

“Fortunately, she was able to escape. She hid in a local cemetery for the whole day, praying that the Taliban would not find her there,” Friba Rezayee tells DW.

“Had they found these documents in her house, she would have been tried in a Sharia court. That would have meant she would have either received 100 lashes or even been publicly executed.”

Women’s sports have not yet been outlawed by the Taliban. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had rejected Afghanistan from the 2000 Games in Sydney under the first Taliban reign, which lasted from 1996 to 2001, partially because the extreme Islamists discriminated against female athletes. According to Rezayee, the Taliban’s mentality has not changed.

“Women’s sports are a sin, according to their understanding of Sharia law. They believe that because a woman’s body is exposed during physical exercise, sexual signals are delivered to men. Women are not even permitted to use a gym.”

Only the ICC, the world cricket governing body, threatened to expel Afghanistan after the Taliban gained power eight months ago because of its attitude toward women’s sports. However,  ICC eventually softened its stance. After a board meeting in Dubai in early April, the federation announced that it will “continue to support the Afghan men’s team in their pursuit of international cricket while monitoring the direction of the sport in the country, particularly the development of the women’s game.”

To read the full report, click here.

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