22-year-old gay Afghan student tortured and executed by Taliban who sent video of killing to his family

Hamed Sabouri, a gay Afghan man killed by Taliban
Hamed Sabouri

A gay Afghan man was abducted and murdered by Taliban gunmen who later sent a video of the killing to his family and partner.

LGBTQ+ rights organisations in Afghanistan say the killing is the latest incident in mounting violence against LGBTQ+ people in the country. 


A gay medical student was stopped at a traffic checkpoint manned by Taliban gunmen, who proceeded to abduct, torture and murder him, making him the latest victim of violence against Afghanistan’s LGBTQ+ community.

taliban gay killing
Elham Sawiz

Hamed Sabouri, 22, was kidnapped in August at a checkpoint in Kabul, according to his family and partner, Bahar.

Speaking to The Guardian, they say Sabouri was tortured for three days before being shot in the back of the head.

A video of his execution was then sent to his family, who have now fled Afghanistan for their own safety.



“The Taliban murdered Hamed and sent the video to his family and me,” Bahar, Sabouri’s partner, told the outlet.

“Hamed’s family have fled and I have been in hiding. We were like any other couple around the world in love but the Taliban treat us like criminals. They’ve killed the love of my life and I don’t know how I’ll live without him.”

He continued: “I have been receiving threats from the Taliban again and I am now on the run. I have many friends from the LGBTQ+ community here in Afghanistan who have also keen kidnapped and tortured.”

“I was arrested by the Taliban in August 2021 and again in May and June this year and was raped, beaten and tortured with electric shocks.”



In an email, Haseeb Sabouri, Hamed’s brother, confirmed to Guardian that the family sold their two homes in Afghanistan and travelled to Turkey.

“We fled from Afghanistan due to threats and murder of Hamed,” he said. “We fled because the Taliban came to our home every day to harass and threaten us.”

Hamed Sabouri, a gay Afghan man killed by Taliban
Hamed Sabouri

Nemat Sadat, founder of LGBTQ+ rights group Roshaniya, said:

“The biggest fear that every LGBTQ+ person in Afghanistan has right now is that they will become the next Hamed Sabouri. This has been their predicament ever since the Taliban returned to power.”

“The news of Hamed’s brutal death continues to put our community on edge but we won’t let Hamed’s life go in vain. We will continue to fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ Afghans to escape execution and live a long, and happy life in a free country.”