Taliban scouting porn sites to compile kill list of Afghan sex workers: Report

Taliban have assured Afghan women of their rights to education and employment but many are sceptical whether the hardline Islamist group will keep the promises. 
Taliban fighters patrol on vehicles along a street in Kabul. (AFP Photo)
Taliban fighters patrol on vehicles along a street in Kabul. (AFP Photo)
Published on Sep 04, 2021 01:19 PM IST
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By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

The Taliban are scouting pornographic sites to make a “kill list” of Afghan sex workers and are “hell-bent” on hunting them down to publicly execute or “humiliate for their own pleasure”, according to a report. The Sun Online has reported citing people familiar with the matter that videos featuring Afghan prostitutes have been discovered by the Taliban death squads on niche porn sites. The people cited above told the British tabloid that “the women face being gang-raped by the terror nuts before being beheaded, stoned or hung” by the Taliban.

“They pretend to condemn pornography but are digging deep into the most obscure and deeply-hidden adult sites to find videos that show Afghan brothels so they can identity and slaughter or enslave the women who worked in them. Because the videos show obvious location markers of the brothels, these women are now in serious danger of being kidnapped or murdered in the most horrific ways imaginable,” one of the people told The Sun Online.

Also watch | Afghan women forced to marry outside Kabul airport to flee Taliban: Report

It also reported that some of the videos allegedly feature the women having sex with Westerners, “further raising the fury of the Taliban.”

Also read | To escape Taliban, here is what Afghan women were forced into doing

The Taliban, who swept into power last month as the US withdrew its troops after two decades, banned women from most work when they last ruled the country 20 years ago. A Taliban spokesperson said this time women's rights would be protected in accordance with Islamic law and that they would also be allowed to work and girls can go to school. However, many women and human rights activists say they could face brutal repression under the new Taliban regime.

Also read | Taliban on women's rights: 'Education without hijab? Don't change our culture'

Under the new regime, women have already been discouraged from going to work and even been turned away from their offices and have been asked not to step outside their home with a male relative. Reports in July said the Taliban issued an order to local religious leaders to provide them with a list of girls over the age of 15 and widows under the age of 45 for “marriage” with the Islamist hardline group’s fighters. When they ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban executed and tortured women in public for not obeying their diktats.

Also read | Taliban expected to announce new government today: 10 points

Sex work in Afghanistan is illegal and even though the penal code does not specify the punishment, they risk jail if they are caught. Human rights organisations in Afghanistan said in June there were “hundreds” of sex workers based in the country’s capital of Kabul.

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