The Taliban has beheaded a women’s youth volleyball player and posted pictures of her head on social media, according to a report.
Mahjabin Hakimi, a rising star of Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was slaughtered by the jihadists earlier this month, her coach claimed in an interview with The Persian Independent.
Conflicting reports on social media said that Mahjabin had been mysteriously killed a week before the Taliban seized Kabul, with a death certificate purportedly showing the date of her death as mid-August.
Other claims said that she had committed suicide.
A photo purportedly of Mahjabin’s corpse showed an injury to her neck, but it is impossible to say whether this has been caused by a blade or a ligature.
However, the Afghanistan-based Payk Investigative Journalism Center said that its sources had confirmed that Mahjabin ‘was beheaded by the Taliban in Kabul.’
Mahjabin Hakimi, a rising star in the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, was mercilessly slaughtered by the jihadists earlier this month, her coach told The Persian Independent
Mahjabin was one of just two girls who played for the team who did not manage to escape after the fall of Kabul, her coach said
A picture circulating on social media purportedly shows the girl’s corpse. There is an injury to her neck although it is impossible to say whether this has been caused by a blade or a ligature
The girl’s death is only now being reported because the coach said that the Islamist militants threatened her family not to tell anyone what had happened.
After the sickening image was seen online, the coach decided she should speak out.
‘All the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the women athletes are in a bad situation and in despair and fear,’ she said.
‘Everyone has been forced to flee and live in unknown places.’
Mahjabin played volleyball for the Kabul club before the Taliban seized power from the US-backed government at the end of August.
The coach said that only two members of the team had managed to flee the country before it fell to the Islamists. The rest are now in hiding and fear for their lives.
The Italian volleyball federation today announced that all of its leagues would observe a minute’s silence for Mahjabin before their games this weekend.
The tribute was decided by federation chief Giuseppe Manfredi after a discussion with the Italian Olympic Committee.
Under its strict interpretation of Sharia law, the Taliban does not permit women to play sport or allow them to participate in work or education.
Those who defy the terror group’s edicts risk torture and death.
The Afghan women’s national volleyball team has petitioned foreign organisations for help to get them out of the country but have so far been unsuccessful.
Zahra Fayazi, a member of senior team who fled to the UK in August, previously described how a fellow player had been murdered by the Taliban.
‘Our players who were living in the provinces had to leave and live in other places,’ she told the BBC last month.
‘They even burned their sports equipment to save themselves and their families. They didn’t want them to keep anything related to sport. They are scared.
Women protesting on the streets of Kabul on Thursday, demanding that the Taliban reopen schools. Last month the Taliban barred girls from returning to secondary school and replaced the former government’s women’s ministry with an all-male ‘vice and virtue’ department.
Women holding up signs in Kabul demanding that schools be reopened for girls
Women hold up banners and take pictures during the protest in Kabul today
‘Many of our players who are from provinces were threatened many times by their relatives who are Taliban and Taliban followers.
‘The Taliban asked our players’ families to not allow their girls to do sport, otherwise they will be faced with unexpected violence.’
On Thursday, the evacuation of 57 soccer and basketball players, mainly women and children, was negotiated by FIFA, football’s governing body.
Last week FIFA said it had worked with the Qatari government to evacuate almost 100 football players and their families from Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, FIFA had also helped cycling body UCI in the evacuation of 165 refugees via Albania.
Australia has evacuated more than 50 female Afghan athletes and their dependents after lobbying by prominent figures from the sporting world while several players from Afghanistan’s national female youth soccer squad were granted asylum in Portugal.
The Taliban made vague promises that they had reformed and that Afghanistan would not see a return to the barbarity of the 1990s when they swept to power.
A Taliban fighter rides on a pick-up truck mounted with a machine gun in Kabul on October 3
But last month they barred girls from returning to secondary school and replaced the former government’s women’s ministry with an all-male ‘vice and virtue’ department.
‘All male teachers and students should attend their educational institutions,’ a statement said. It made no mention of women teachers or girl pupils.
In a further sign that the Taliban’s approach to women and girls had not softened, they appeared to have shut down the government’s ministry of women’s affairs and replaced it with a department notorious for enforcing strict religious doctrine during their first rule.
Although still marginalised, Afghan women have fought for and gained basic rights in the past 20 years, becoming lawmakers, judges, pilots and police officers.
Hundreds of thousands have entered the workforce – a necessity in some cases as many women were widowed or now support invalid husbands as a result of decades of conflict.
The Taliban have shown little inclination to honour those rights – no women have been included in the government and they have been stopped from returning to work.