On February 7, 2022, National Public Radio’s Here and Now magazine interviewed OutRight Action International’s Senior Fellow for Emergency Research, J. Lester Feder, on OutRight and Human Rights Watch’s groundbreaking report on the increased levels of violence and abuse faced by LGBTIQ Afghans under the Taliban regime. For the report, Feder interviewed 60 Afghans who identified as LGBTQ, exclaiming that “many LGBTQ Afghans have been hunted down by their family, friends, or other loved ones who had joined the Taliban.”
Moreover, the report’s findings underscored the sexual violence against LGBTIQ Afghans at the hands of the Taliban. Feder explains how one man he interviewed was assaulted for trying to pick up his paycheck. He asserts that for many, fleeing the country is the only option, but this is easier said than done. In addition to the multiple checkpoints you have to pass, Feder elaborates that “you [also] have to find a country that will take you. And if you look at a map, all of the countries that are easiest for Afghans to reach include places like Iran, Pakistan that also criminalized homosexuality.” The report’s findings conclude that international intervention — at the diplomatic level and personal level where people put pressure on their governments to do more –– is the best way to help LGBTIQ Afghans.
To listen to the full Here and Now interview, click here.
To read OutRight’s full report on the treatment of LGBTIQ people in Afghanistan, click here.
Published on February 8, 2022 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization