An Afghan volleyball player on the girls’ national team was
beheaded by the Taliban — with gruesome photos of her severed
head posted on social media, according to her coach.
Mahjabin Hakimi, one of the best players in the Kabul
Municipality Volleyball Club, was slaughtered in the capital
city of Kabul as troops searched for female sports players, her
coach told the Persian Independent.
She was killed earlier this month, but her death remained mostly
hidden because her family had been threatened not to talk,
claimed the coach, using a pseudonym, Suraya Afzali, due to
Images of Hakimi’s severed neck were published on Afghan social
media, according to the paper, which did not say how old she was.
Conflicting reports online suggested that happened earlier, with
an apparent death certificate suggesting she was killed Aug. 13
— the final days of the Taliban’s insurgency before seizing
However, the Payk Investigative Journalism Center said its
sources also confirmed that Hakimi “was ‘beheaded’ by the
Taliban in Kabul.” The governing group has yet to comment, Payk
Afzali told the Persian Independent that she was speaking out to
highlight the risk that female sports players face, with only
two of the women’s national volleyball team having managed to
flee the country.
“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 told the paper. “Everyone has been forced to flee and live
in unknown places.”
One of the players who escaped, Zahra Fayazi, told the BBC last
month that at least one of the players had been killed.
“We don’t want this to repeat for our other players,” she told
the broadcaster from her new home in the UK.
“Many of our players who are from provinces were threatened many
times by their relatives who are Taliban and Taliban followers.