Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Afghans fear for loved ones trapped in Taliban hell

17 August 20210 comments

An Afghan refugee living in Melbourne has told the horrific story of his family’s fate after the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul.

Dr Abdulatif Stanikzai, who fled Afghanistan in2014 after becoming a target of a Taliban execution squad, told how his elder brother and two teenaged nephews were gagged, bound and abducted from his family’s home, other members of his family were beaten and his elderly, ailing mother was kicked by Talban thugs.

Like thousands of others, his family made desperate attempt to flee the strife-torn country via Kabul’s international airport. But they were unable to get on an aircraft and left with few options.

Dr Stanikzai said his family had reported people being killed all over the city in apparent revenge killings by the Taliban. Also, there were reports of women and young girls being taken by Taliban members.  

“Last night I was in contact with my family after not hearing from them for several days,” Dr Stanikzai said.

“The Taliban came to my family’s home and broke in. They used some kinds of explosive to break the door down,” he said.

“They smashed the house up, breaking everything and beating my family members.

“They blindfolded and tied my elder brother and his two sons – they are 18 and 16 years old. My brother had been in hiding since the Taliban resurgence and had only just come back to our family home.

“But the Taliban took them, put them in the toolbox of the truck and took them away. We are very worried,” a tearful Dr Stanikzai said.

He said the incident sent one of his two-year-old nephews into a fatal fit.

“My family said the boy started crying and that he died later. I asked what he died from, but they could not tell me. They could not bury him, they had to leave his body in the house,” Dr Stanikzai said.   

He said the remaining dozen or so member of his family, including some children, then went to Kabul’s international airport to try to leave the country.

“My family went to the airport but they could not get in. It was being guarded by American soldiers who would not let anyone it. My family said they had problems with the Taliban but no one would listen.

“They have been at the airport for two days and they have no food or water. They said an American soldier gave them some water and told them to go home. Their phone is off now and I have not heard from them again.”

Dr Stanikzai said the Taliban had not observed their promise to eschew revenge attacks and respect the rights of women and minorities.

“My family said the Taliban had been attacking many houses and there are bodies all over the city. They also said that women and young girls were being taken,” he said.

“The Taliban said they would forgive people but they lied. They are attacking houses and they are killing people,” he said.

Dr Stanikzai, a trauma surgeon, became a target of the Taliban and fled his homeland after terrorists who had been wounded in a gun battle with police later died of their wounds in his hospital.

He has pleaded with Australia to offer his family safety in Australia.

“My family is in terrible danger and I ask the Australia Government to give them visas so they can come and join me in this wonderful country,” he said.

Many Afghan community leaders in Australia have spoken of their fears for the future of the nation and for lives of people who may suffer acts of revenge by the new Taliban regime.

Thousands of Afghans across Australia hold grave fears for their family in Afghanistan after the events of the last few days.

The Taliban has seized control of most of the country, including hr capital Kabul, in a lightning campaign that took most observers by surprise.

The Australian government closed its embassy in Kabul in late May, and the last Australian troops left the country in June after almost 20 years of military intervention alongside the United States.