Persecution of Homosexuals (Afghanistan)

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Note that this page may contain news regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, and transsexual people (LGBTT)

Three men are buried alive under a pile of stones and a wall is pushed on top of them by a tank, as punishment for sodomy in the town of Kandahar

``Thanks to the Taleban, the army of God, that we can protect the honour of people, the speaker said.

``Thanks to God that we are followers of God not of the West, he said.
. . .
On Wednesday, the Taleban ordered the execution of three men for sodomy in the southern town of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. They were ordered to be buried alive under a pile of stones and a wall was pushed on top of them by a tank.

Their lives were to be spared if they survived for 30 minutes and were still alive when the stones were removed.

More punishments would be carried out in public, Niyazi said.

The Taleban, who seized control of Kabul in 1996, have enforced strict Islamic code in the more than two-thirds of Afghanistan it controls and have cracked down on crime.

The Taleban administration, whose attitude towards human rights has come under sharp criticism in the West, is recognised only by three countries -- Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Taliban flog woman, cut off two men's hands
Sayed Salahuddin, Reuters, February 27, 1998

Two men are executed via a wall being bulldozed on top of them, as punishment for sodomy in the western province of Herat

Two men were executed for sodomy in the western Afghanistan province of Herat, the Taleban-controlled Voice of Sharia announced March 23. Bismellah, age 22, and Abdul Sami, 18, had a wall bulldozed onto them in a traditional Islamic method of executions used only for sodomy convictions. The two men, said to have confessed freely, died, unlike three other men who survived the same treatment last month, winning them reprieve from any further punishment. Until very recently, gay men were more likely to be punished by the shame of standing in blackface in a public area for hours. Human rights abuses in Afghanistan are drawing increasing international attention. Even United Nations aid workers have been facing so much hostility -- including several physical assaults against UN staff by a Taleban leader -- that they have been recalled to Islamabad. Depending on the progress of negotiations there, the workers may be withdrawn altogether.
Afghanistan Kills 2 for Sodomy
NewsPlanet, March 24, 1998

84-year-old man who is impotent, is 'stoned' by collapsing wall as punishment for attempting a homosexual act

An 84-year-old man survives a high-tech Taliban stoning (of the tank and wall variety) and denies any homosexual activity — he’s impotent.

On January 15 in Kabul, Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban again punished a man for attempting a homosexual act by using a tank to push a stone wall over on top of him — but like two or three others of perhaps eight who have reportedly suffered this penalty, he survived. Although initially believed dead when he was dug out of the rubble of the 15-foot wall 30 minutes later, he was found to be alive, taken to a hospital, and was soon talking with reporters. By the same Islamic law which prescribes the punishment — a 20th-century version of stoning — those who are alive after half-an-hour are free.

The man, described in most sources as age 60, told the "Afghan Daily News" that he is 84, and not only innocent, but impotent. His alleged victim is 12 years old, although his age is not a factor in the punishment (and many boys that age in Afghanistan are already military veterans).

American adviser to the Afghan government and an Afghan man arrested and jailed for homosexual activity. American faces possible jail term of 5-15 years

An American adviser to the Afghan government has been arrested in the capital for allegedly having homosexual relations with an Afghan man, officials said Tuesday.

The man was arrested late last week after an Afghan detained by police told investigators the American had paid him for sexual relations at a Kabul hotel, the officials said.

Afghan officials say homosexuality remains a crime, even though it no longer brings the brutal punishment handed out under the Taliban before its ouster in 2001.

Under its harsh interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law, homosexuals were crushed to death by having walls toppled on them, although Afghans say closet gay relationships remained widespread.

“Islam doesn’t allow homosexuality,” said Abdul Halim Samadi, a prosecutor dealing with the current case in Kabul. “Prostitution is also punishable in Afghanistan under Islamic law.”

Samadi said the American could get a jail term of 5-15 years if convicted. A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said she was unaware of the arrest and declined further comment.

The head of the criminal department for Kabul City Police, Jamil, said the American was an adviser to the Finance Ministry. He declined to disclose his name.

Police had trailed the 18-year-old Afghan “coming and going from the American’s room” in an upscale hotel in Kabul, said Jamil, who goes by one name.

Samadi said the Afghan man told investigators the American paid him up to US$50 (euro 40) per visit and helped him get a job at a relief organization.

He said the attorney-general’s office was awaiting the results of medical tests on the Afghan man before deciding on any charges.

"Please have mercy, don't make fun of me," Afghan police officers publicly humiliate cross-dresser and force him to remove clothing and wig on camera before arresting him

"Take off your chador," the police officer orders an Afghan cross-dresser in a video that has been shared endlessly on social networking websites.

"Take off your wig!" Beneath the shiny black locks, the head is revealed as male with receding, closely cropped hair.

He's also wearing a scarlet short-sleeved shalwar kamiz – sexy but traditional female attire. The feminine look is accentuated by large sparkling bangles and see-through embroidery.

The victim's ordeal goes on for what seems like eternity as he endures humiliating comments and laughter from the police officers.

"Please have mercy, don't make fun of me," he whispers.

"Boy! Face the camera," they shout, forcing him to remove the fake breasts from inside his top. The breasts turn out to be a pair of socks filled with dough.

"Dough to make the breasts feel softy-soft," an officer shouts amid laughter. Male cross-dressing is a familiar enough in Afghanistan for the locals to have coined a special term. The word is ezak – a vague but deeply derogatory noun referring to anything from a eunuch or a hermaphrodite to a transvestite or a male homosexual.

Following the discovery of the dough, a barrage of questions ensues in the video. "Why are you dressed like this? Where did you put the makeup on? What is all this about? What have you two been up to?"

This final question is addressed to a shy young man leaning away but standing next to the transvestite. The two were arrested together. "I was shopping for clothes," the cross-dresser whispers, taking off the bangles. He is trying to tell the officers that his dressing up is just a silly, harmless game.

"Put the bangles back on," a police officer orders. The victim reluctantly obeys, his eyes filled with tears.

"Please, officer, we haven't committed a crime," the victim's companion pleads, turning away from the camera.

Like most of the sensationalist Afghan news that is spread online, the video gives no information about the date, the source, or the victim's fate following the arrest. The clip made the rounds, creating lively debate before people tired of it.
. . .
A few comments interpreted the cross-dressing as a sign of cultural anarchy, a symbol of Afghans straying from the path of Islam.

A couple of people demanded the cross-dresser should be executed, while others said that even though the cross-dresser was misguided they still felt sorry for him.

Amid such voices of confusion, and at times outright cruelty, it was heartening to read comments expressing anger at the police's humiliation of the victim: "The man has committed no crime. Cross-dressing is a psychological condition. What he needs is treatment rather than public humiliation."

Others recalled their own encounters with transvestites:

"During the Taliban, we had an ezak in our neighborhood. His brothers used to hit him for acting like a female and finally killed him.

"I am worried about this man's future. His family is bound to kill him because of the shame he has brought on them. To protect this unfortunate person, people should stop sharing this video."
Will Afghanistan learn that cross-dressers are not criminals?
Nushin Arbabzadah, The Guardian, November 13, 2011