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    Afghanistan gay man raped and beaten by Taliban, lured on social media

    • The Taliban raped and beat a gay man in Kabul after luring him into meeting them through social media.
    • The militants pretended to offer the man escape from Afghanistan, a report from ITV says.
    • Afghan LGBTQ activists told Insider that previous governments used similar tactics to trap gay men.

    The Taliban raped and beat a gay man after duping him into meeting them, a report from ITV says.

    The outlet said that Hanan, a pseudonym given to protect his identity, had been speaking to a man on social media who promised to help him find a safe way out of Afghanistan.

    Many LGBTQ people have been desperately trying to flee the country following the Taliban takeover.

    Hanan agreed to meet the man in Kabul after speaking for three weeks online, who unbeknownst to him were actually Taliban men.

    When Hanan met the men, they raped and beat him, Afghan LGBTQ rights activist Artemis Akbary told ITV.

    Akbary told the outlet that Taliban fighters are likely to do this again.

    “They’ll make a profile account and deceive LGBT+ people by pretending they’re a member of the community,” he said.

    Insider recently spoke to men from Afghanistan’s secret gay community, who said they are living through a “nightmare” and in fear of their futures under Taliban rule.

    During their previous rule, the militant group executed gay men. In July, German newspaper Bild reported that a Taliban judge vowed to sentence gay men to death by stoning or being crushed by a nine-foot wall.

    Afghan activists told Insider that gay men would be lured to their deaths through social media even during the previous governments.

    “Social media was basically used by the government to create honey traps to bait gay and bisexual men,” LGBTQ activist Nemat Sadat told Insider. 

    “National security officials would make fake profiles and go on Grindr and different Facebook groups and say ‘hey look, I really want to meet you’ and then basically would take them out and kill them and then throw away their body.”

    “And this wasn’t under the Taliban. This was under Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karzai,” he said.

    Hamid Zaher, an Afghan author and gay rights activist, told Insider that gay people would often vanish after meeting up with men they met on social media, who turned out to be government officials in disguise.

    He warned that the Taliban were likely to use the same tactics.

    “If the Taliban don’t close Facebook or other apps, like Grindr, they will also use them to arrest people,” he said.

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