'It's all over for us': Pregnant woman blinded by Taliban fears for Afghan women

18 August 2021, 08:14 | Updated: 18 August 2021, 10:16

Khatera had her eyes gouged out by the Taliban in a brutal attack last year
Khatera had her eyes gouged out by the Taliban in a brutal attack last year. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A 33-year-old woman who was tortured by the Taliban whilst pregnant has spoken of her fears for women now that the group have taken control over Afghanistan.

Khatera was shot, stabbed, had her eyes gouged out and was left to die by insurgent fighters on her way home from work in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan last year.

She has since spoken of her worries after the Taliban regained control of the country, saying: "It's all over for us."

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Speaking to Indian broadcaster News18, Khatera said: "They (Taliban) first torture us (women) and then discard our bodies to show as specimen of punishment.

"Sometimes our bodies are fed to dogs. 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."

Khatera, who was two months pregnant at the time, was part of police staff before the attack.

She said it was "a beautiful sight" to see girls attending school, and said women in Afghanistan had "come a long way in these 20 years to reach somewhere".

"All went down the drain in a week," she said.

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She went on to say that the concern was now much bigger than whether or not women would be allowed to work.

"At this point, I am scared if they would leave these women alive," she said.

"They don't just kill women. They make animals feed on their bodies.

"They are a blot on Islam."

In a press conference on Thursday, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the rights of women would be respected within the "frameworks of Sharia" law.

"Our women are Muslim, they will also be happy to be living within our framework of Sharia," said Mr Mujahid, saying that women would be able to attend school and work in schools and hospitals.

He said the Taliban does not "have any grudges" and did not want any "internal enemies or external enemies".

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However, whether or not the promises are kept remains to be seen, with concerns that an extreme form of Sharia law could be reinstated.

Last seen in the country in 2001, this could include restrictions on women's rights such as them being forced to wear a burka and being unable to leave home without being accompanied by a male relative.