On 26 January, 2022, The Advocate published an article by Outright’s Senior Director of Law, Policy, and Research, Neela Ghoshal, and Outright’s Senior Fellow of Emergency Research, Lester Feder, on the launch of their groundbreaking report: “Even If You Go to the Skies, We’ll Find You,” detailing the lives of LGBT people in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. The new report, which was launched in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, documents that LGBT Afghans and those not conforming to gender norms face grave threats to their safety and lives since the Taliban took full control of the country in August of 2021. Outright International and Human Rights Watch interviewed 60 LGBT Afghans in late 2021, most of whom were present in Afghanistan, while others had fled to nearby countries with the risk of being forcibly returned. Many of those interviewed reported being attacked, sexually assaulted, or directly threatened by Taliban members because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The report urges countries receiving asylum-seeking Afghans to expedite their applications for evacuation and resettlement because of their special risk of persecution in their home country. The report also calls on all countries to pressure the Taliban to end their abuses against LGBT people, for it is their responsibility to protect the human rights of all Afghans under international law.
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