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Coach accuses Taliban of beheading female volleyball player, posting pics on social media

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According to her coach, an Afghan volleyball player on the girls’ national team named Mahjabin Hakimi was beheaded by the Taliban who then proceeded to post gruesome pictures of her severed head on social media.

Not only was Hakimi a top volleyball player in the Kabul Municipality Volleyball Club, she was also a police officer. She was allegedly butchered in the “first days of the fall” of Kabul as the Taliban searched for female sports players, according to the Persian Independent. The Taliban does not allow women to play sports and since taking control, they have made it clear that it is a punishable offense to do so.

A spokesperson for the Taliban says women should restrict themselves to “giving birth” and steer clear of politics and sports, according to the Mirror.

The coach claims that Hakimi’s family has not come forward because they were threatened with death by the Taliban if they did so. The coach used the pseudonym Suraya Afzali to protect her identity.

The photos reportedly appeared on Afghan social media. It is unknown how old Hakimi was or if she was potentially raped before she was executed.

The timing of reports is unclear and conflicting. Her death may have occurred earlier than originally reported. An alleged death certificate suggests that she was killed on Aug. 13 which was the day before the Taliban seized control of Kabul.

According to the Payk Investigative Journalism Center, the girl “was ‘beheaded’ by the Taliban in Kabul.” The Taliban has not taken credit for the kill yet.

Afzali says she is coming forward to bring attention to the danger female sports players face in Afghanistan. Only two of the women on the national volleyball team have been able to get out of the country.

“All the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the women athletes are in a bad situation and in despair and fear,” she told the Persian Independent. “Everyone has been forced to flee and live in unknown places.”

Zahra Fayazi, who is one of the players who managed to escape, told the BBC in September that at least one of the volleyball players had been killed by the Taliban.

“We don’t want this to repeat for our other players,” she stated from her new home in the UK. “Many of our players who are from provinces were threatened many times by their relatives who are Taliban and Taliban followers.”

“The Taliban asked our players’ families to not allow their girls to do sport, otherwise they will be faced with unexpected violence,” Fayazi stated. “They even burned their sports equipment to save themselves and their families. They didn’t want them to keep anything related to sport. They are scared.”

Another player who fled the country told the BBC that everyone was “shocked” when they heard that one of their teammates had been killed.

“I’m sure it was the Taliban,” remarked Sophia, which is a pseudonym used to protect her family members still in Afghanistan. “Maybe we will lose other friends,” she sadly commented.

It should be noted that there are reports out there that claim the girl was not murdered by the Taliban but instead committed suicide.

The death has angered many on social media:

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