They are safe and sound. The two para-athletes of the Afghanistan team and blocks in the country have been evacuated from the country, announced this Wednesday, August 25, the International Paralympic Committee (CIP). In retaliation, they will not be participating in the Paralympic Games which started on Tuesday in Tokyo.
Khadija Amin was a journalist starring on Afghan television. Then the Taliban arrived
“Efforts have been made to evacuate Afghanistan, they are now in a safe place”, stated the spokesperson of the CIP, Craig Spence, during a press conference in Tokyo. “I do not tell you where they are because they are not sports, but human beings, and they are protecting people”, he explained.
According to the Australian media ABC, they are part of a group of fifty Afghan sportsmen who have been filtered by Australia, but this has not been officially confirmed by the country’s authorities.
“They had a traumatic experience”
Craig Spence also had to admit that he could not participate in the Games: «Of all evidence they have a traumatic experience, they receive psychological assistance». For the symbol, the Afghan drape even marched to the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games on Tuesday, despite the absence of delegation.
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Engaged in para-taekwondo, Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli initially represent both Afghanistan at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
But with the fall of the Afghan state under the auspices of the Taliban, who captured Kaboul on August 15, both were found among many Afghans desperately looking to flee the country since the airport’s capital, the Seoul site still provisionally controlled by the U.S. Army.
The Afghan drape at the Games, but not the athletes
Zakia Khudadadi, 23, was the first woman to represent Afghanistan at the Paralympic Games. In a video published on August 18, she recounted her distress and called for help:
“I ask you all, as an Afghan woman and as an representative of Afghan women, to help me […] My intention is to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, if you please me and help me […] I urge you all, women from all over the world, women’s protection institutions, all governmental organizations, not to let go of the rights to the Paralympic movement of an Afghan citizen. »
In fact, the Taliban are opposed in principle to the fact that women go to school, work or play sports.
“For the Taliban, it would be better for a dead woman than a woman who talks about love”
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Since the return to power of the Taliban in mid-August, the situation in Afghanistan remains chaotic. U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed Tuesday the 31st of August deadline to end the “Mission” of the US Army on the ground, provided the new Afghan regime does not prevent the evacuation of those who are still fleeing Kaboul.