An Afghan mom who was shot and had her eyes gouged out for getting a job claims the Taliban have also fed women’s bodies to dogs.
“In the eyes of Taliban, women are not living, breathing human beings, but merely some meat and flesh to be battered,” Khatera, who now lives in Delhi and uses only one name, told India’s News 18.
Khatera, 33, recounted her horrific ordeal to the news outlet, saying her own father, a former Taliban fighter, tipped the insurgents off because he opposed her job in law enforcement.
As punishment, she said, the militants shot her eight times and blinded her last year in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province.
She previously said her father provided the Taliban with a copy of her ID card and that he had called her the day she was attacked to ask for her location.
An Afghan police spokesman has confirmed they believed the Taliban were behind the attack. However, a spokesman for the extremists told Reuters the group was aware of the case, but that they were not involved in what they deemed to be a family matter.
“They (Taliban) first torture us (women) and then discard our bodies to show as a specimen of punishment. Sometimes our bodies are fed to dogs,” Khatera told News 18.
“I was lucky that I survived it. One has to live in Afghanistan under the Taliban to even imagine what hell has befallen on the women, children and minorities there,” she added.
Recalling the brutal incident, Khatera, who has five kids back in Ghazni but has been living in Delhi with her husband and toddler since November, said she was able to move to Kabul and then India for treatment because she had the finances for it.
“This fortune is not available for all. Women and anyone who disobeys the Taliban die in the streets,” she said.
“The Taliban don’t allow women to visit male doctors, and at the same time, don’t let women study and work. So, then what is left for a woman? Left to die? Even if you think we are just reproductive machines, there is no common sense but pure hate,” Khatera continued.
“How does a woman deliver her child according to the dictum of these men with guns without medical care,” she asked, holding her child. “It’s tough for the world to imagine what we built in the past 20 years. We built dreams. Now they are gone. It’s all over for us.”
Khatera said women who work with the government or police were “being hunted and threatened” even before the Taliban had taken over the country — and it has only gotten worse.
“Now, the concern has gone beyond letting women work. At this point, I am scared if they would leave these women alive. They don’t just kill women. They make animals feed on their bodies. They are a blot on Islam,” the mother said.
“Our women and the youth had come a long way in these 20 years to reach somewhere — to find a stable livelihood, to get proper education. Women were filling up universities. It was a beautiful sight to see girls going to schools,” she continued.
“All went down the drain in just a week. I even heard from my relatives that families have begun burning the educational certificates of girls to protect them from the Taliban.”
The Taliban claim they are more moderate now than they were while in power decades ago and said they have relaxed their stance on women’s rights – though they have signaled their intention to deny girls’ education past age 12, to ban women from employment and reinstate the law requiring women to be accompanied by a male relative.
The insurgents have also claimed the group does not seek violence.
“Not a single person who has survived the Taliban would believe this in any way. Besides, Afghanistan is not just Kabul. The rural parts will be destroyed. The scale of ‘zulm’ (oppression) and cruelty that will descend on women, you will never even be able to imagine,” Khatera said.
“Our health care, our voices, our organizations won’t exist anymore because women won’t be allowed to work or be outside of their homes. What about those who don’t have a man in the house? Who will feed them? Those born in the early 2000s have only heard of the Taliban from their families. Now, they will face them again. It’s hellish,” she said.
Khatera also expressed fears her father will now go after her children.
“Both my husband and I are not there with our children. They are at home with relatives. But my father will soon land there and may harm my children either physically or may induct them into the Taliban, encouraging them to take up arms and ruin their lives,” she said.