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Afghanistan: Taliban beheads woman volleyball player

At present many female athletes in Afghanistan have either gone into hiding or fled to Pakistan or other countries.

Mahjubin Hakimi, member of Afghanistan’s woman’s national volleyball team was beheaded by the Taliban, reports Independent Persian. An Afghan national and one of the coaches of the Afghan women’s national team by the pseudonym Suraya Afzali confirmed that the athlete was killed earlier in October. However, no one in Hakimi’s family seems to be aware of when the murder took place. She used to play for Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club before Afghanistan fell to the Islamist group Taliban in August 2021. She was one of the most successful players.

It is believed Mahjubin’s murder took place sometime early in October and it was not made public because her family members were threatened not to talk about it. According to coach Afzali (name changed), the Taliban have been hunting for the female athletes, going to their homes in their search. Those female athletes who appeared in media programmes are under serious threat, she said.

She said that only two members of the team were able to leave Afghanistan on their own and rest of the women athletes face serious threat from the Taliban. Zahra Fayazi, a former volleyball player and then a coach, fled Afghanistan and arrived in UK earlier in September. While speaking to BBC, she had said that many players have been threatened by their relatives who are Taliban as well as other Taliban followers.

The Afghan National Women’s Volleyball Team was first established in 1978. However, due to the civl war followed by Taliban rule, the team ceased operations between 1992 and 2002. The team has participated in number of international competitions and had been widely supported within Afghanistan.

At present many female athletes in Afghanistan have either gone into hiding or fled to Pakistan or other countries.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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