Over two months have passed since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, leaving an entire country in disarray over the state of human rights, especially those that concern women and girls. Notorious for their harsh interpretation of the sharia law, which they claim offers only limited rights to the female population, the Islamist organisation has come down heavily on the emancipation women gained in the last two decades.
In what comes across as a return to the dark days from when the Taliban last ruled the country between 1996 and 2001, oppressive diktats and brutalities imposed on women are re-emerging on the scene. Simultaneous to girls fighting for their fundamental right to gain education, there are multiple reports of the Taliban murdering women.
A report by The Independent (Persian) claimed that the Taliban beheaded a player from the junior women’s volleyball team, as alleged by a coach. The deceased has been identified as Mahjubin Hakimi, but there is no clarity on the date of her death. Many media reports expressed concerns over the authenticity of the alleged incident. Recently it came to light that the said report and several others were not accurate.
Journalist Deepa Parent who spoke to Mahjubin Hakimi’s family said that she was not beheaded by the Taliban. Later a Twitter user named Raihana Hashimi who claimed to have known Hakimi personally said that she was killed by in-laws 10 days before the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Some also claimed that the player died by suicide.
Guys, spoke to a family member of Ms. Hakimi and have deleted the tweets about her death. Please consider the family’s request and delete them too. The news about the cause of her death is misleading. Please do pray for her peace. RIP
— Deepa. K. Parent (@DeepaParent) October 19, 2021
The coach places the timeline somewhere in early October, claiming the issue did not make it to the public so far since the girl’s family was allegedly threatened into silence.
She was a member of Afghan National Army Commando and was killed by her in laws 10 days before The Taliban… I knew her personally
— Raihana Hashimi (@RaihanaHashimi) October 20, 2021
Ex-head of TOLO News, Miraqa Popal, tweeted Wednesday that news of the young sportswoman being beheaded by the Taliban was “not true.”
This is not true, she committed suicide 10 days before Kabul takeover by Taliban when I was heading TOLOnews Newsgathering. https://t.co/xPSRFkkepj
— Miraqa Popal 💧 (@MiraqaPopal) October 20, 2021
Taliban Behead Volleyball Player? Female Athletes Fear For Their Lives
On social media, many are citing cases of girls suffering to raise alarm before the international community around the Taliban’s atrocities. Afghans, particularly women, have been vocal in dissenting against the Taliban’s policies that, so far, have kept them out of consideration for equal participation in public life, politics, sports and freedoms. Here is a list of bans for Afghan women under Taliban rule.
In the arena of sports, the Taliban have placed tight curbs that prevent women from playing. Last month, government officials said sports was out-of-bounds for women since it would “expose” their bodies in the media. The Taliban’s gatekeeping of women from decision-making seats too has left no opportunity for them to have a political say in administrative orders.
Many female athletes fled the country ahead of or in the wake of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on August 15. To rescue women footballers, a joint effort of six countries was orchestrated to “miraculously” evacuate them under hostile conditions. Read here.