Afghan women’s volleyball player beheaded by Taliban, according to coach

Afghanistan Volleyball

In an interview with the Persian Independent, a coach of the volleyball side claimed Hakimi was killed in early October but that her family had kept it a secret through fear of being punished themselves.

Since the Taliban reclaimed power in Afghanistan, female athletes have been increasingly at risk and many have been forced to flee the country because of underlying fears concerning their safety.

The Islamist-extremist group believes in Sharia law, which heavily restricts the freedoms of women.

Under the last Taliban regime in 2001, Afghan women were not allowed to work, study or be treated by male doctors, unless accompanied by a male. Those who broke these laws faced imprisonment, flogging and even execution.

The volleyball coach, who used the pseudonym Suraya Afzali, stated: "All the players of the volleyball team and the rest of the women athletes are in a bad situation and in despair and fear. Everyone has been forced to flee and live in an unknown place."



According to the International Volleyball Federation, only two of the women’s youth volleyball team have managed to escape Afghanistan so far.

Speaking to insidethegames, the FIVB said it was “urgently seeking clarification” of the situation and had heard about the reported killing of Hakimi.

However, they declined to elaborate any further due to safety concerns: "As the safety and well-being of the whole volleyball community is our paramount concern, there will no further media comment at this stage.”


A group of 77 Afghan athletes and family members were rescued from Kabul back in August and were forced to run past Tailian checkpoints and avoid gunfire to reach the safety of the airport.

And yesterday FIFA claimed it had supported Qatar and Albania with the evacuation of 57 people to Doha –– the majority of which were women and children who were involved with football and basketball.

Last week, the football organisation also claimed responsibility for helping to evacuate almost 100 Afghan football stakeholders to Qatar.

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