Afghan volleyball player killed by the Taliban because he wanted to play without a headscarf: he was 18 years old

Afghan volleyball player killed by the Taliban because he wanted to play without a headscarf: he was 18 years old
Afghan volleyball player killed by the Taliban because he wanted to play without a headscarf: he was 18 years old

Killed by the Taliban because she was of Hazara ethnicity and for having chosen to play volleyball with her face uncovered. To report the news of the death of Mahjabin Hakimi, just 18 years old player of the Afghan youth volleyball team, are some Indian media and the official account of the Independent Persian, according to which the girl was beheaded in early October. These last two circumstances – the date and the beheading – do not seem certain, however. The family would have made the news known only in the last hours for fear of reprisals.

The minute of silence

A minute of silence in memory of Mahjabin will be observed on all the fields of Italian volleyball over the weekend, from the top flight to regional and territorial tournaments. The volleyball world was shocked by the news. The death of the girl, a police officer, shocked everyone.

Myriam Sylla’s message

Palermitan volleyball player Myriam Sylla, captain of the women’s Italian volleyball champion of Europe, spread a video message: «The whole world – she says – has failed, it must feel guilty and in mourning for the death of Mahjabin Hakimi. It could have been my sister, it could have been me. ‘ The blue gives voice to the pain not only of Italian sport. “It concerns everyone, not just me as a woman, volleyball player, captain.”

Confirmations from Mauro Berruto

The fault of the young Afghan volleyball player – now a new symbol of a climate of terror in Kabul – would have been that of wanting to continue playing face-to-face, but it is possible that the work “helped to mark her fate”, says Mauro Berruto, manager sport of the Democratic Party and former Italy men’s volleyball coach. Berruto wrote a tweet, in which he urges “humanitarian corridors, which does not mean dealing with the Taliban, to offer an escape route protected by the UN military to Afghans who manage to reach the borders of Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan with their own means” . To shed some light on the fragmentary news, the most direct source available is Berruto, who has been in contact with a teammate – then arrived safely in Italy after a daring trip – who first described the murder of Mahjubin Hakimi to him. “Immediately after reading the news, I called her and she confirmed that it was the girl killed by the Taliban – says Berruto -. The denials? I’m not there, but I absolutely trust what he told me. My phone is full of photographs that describe equally terrible stories. It is certain that the murder took place in the first half of August, not in late September-early October. The circumstance of the beheading is not confirmed, but this changes little ».

The escape of sportsmen

Meanwhile, the flight from Afghanistan of sportsmen and those who worked in the federations continues. With the operation successfully concluded, FIFA announced the evacuation to Qatar of 57 people, mostly women and children, who landed safely in Doha yesterday. These are refugees linked to women’s football and basketball. On 14 October, FIFA and Qatar had successfully evacuated nearly 100 members of the Afghan Football Association, including the players. “I ask all our friends in governments and in the football community around the world – wrote the president Gianni Infantino – to help us obtain residence permits and visas for displaced people so that they can start a new life in safe and protected circumstances. “.

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