Afghan Para-Athlete Claims That the Taliban Will Not Accept Women in Society

After arriving in Bilbao on a military plane, Nilofar Bayat, a 28-year-old athlete, was interviewed about the Taliban taking over the country.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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As we all know, the Taliban is a militant group that ruled the country in the late 1990s, and they have taken control again. Bayat has been in a wheelchair for more than 20 years. She was two years old when a rocket hit her family home, injuring her spinal cord and killing her brother. Her father was also injured and she lost a leg. However, during the last years, she has worked hard to succeed in many aspects of her life. Bayat has gone to college, has also worked, and has succeeded in sports in her country. Nowadays, she is the wheelchair basketball captain and a women’s rights activist.

After fleeing to the northern city of Bilbao on a Spanish military plane with her husband Ramish, she was interviewed about the current situation of Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country. Bayat mentioned how she was happy to have arrived in Bilbao and to start a new life in Bilbao, leaving the hell that the Taliban were turning their country into. When asked if she still feared the Taliban, she mentioned that she did, since they ruled over her country 20 years ago. It was then when she was injured. Bayat mentions that her worst memories are from the time her home was hit by a Taliban rocket.

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Bayat, also highlighted that she believes the Taliban will never accept women as part of society in Afghanistan and that they will never recognize or protect their human rights. Nilofar argued that the Taliban would never let women go to school or practice sports. She also fears that they will not let them dress as they want, go to work or even go shopping freely. Overall, she highlighted her fear of the Taliban breaking all of their promises.

When questioned about her opinion on Afghanistan as a country, Bayat mentioned that she felt they had lost everything they had fought for during the past 20 years. Particularly concerning women, she fears there is no future for them since the Taliban will play by their rules and will not let them leave their homes or be part of society. Bayat mentioned that it will be difficult to reconstruct all the homes that were destroyed by the Taliban, and to win back all that the Afghans had accomplished such as women being able to attend a school or to practice sports such as she did.

By the time she saw the Taliban around her home, Bayat mentioned she was scared since she had made part of many videos speaking about the Taliban, which could endanger her life and the life of her relatives. Thanks to the help of the Spanish Embassy, she was able to secure a seat on a military plane while the Taliban were attacking people that went to the airport to escape. During the interview, the Afghan Para-athlete appealed to the international community to keep supporting her country and to stand up for all the people that are still in Afghanistan. Bayat mentioned: "I'm luckier than other Afghan people in that I've left and am here and can start a new life. But I'm just one person, others are still there."

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