‘The Taliban Killed My Brother For Protecting My Family’

By Tarah Welsh
BBC London

image captionSaba left Afghanistan some 20 years ago

While watching the country he grew up in descend into chaos, Saba got the call he had been dreading. His family told him “the Taliban are trying to burn down my house and asking for my brother”, he said. Nothing he had seen before could have prepared him for what happened next.

Saba, who lives in London, left Afghanistan two decades ago to escape the previous Taliban regime.

His family stayed and made a new life after the Taliban were deposed in the Afghanistan War.

Saba’s brother found a job that made him a target when the Taliban returned.

image sourceReuters

image captionSaba says his family have gone to the airport “every day” to try to flee the Taliban

“They thought he had money and a gun stashed away,” Saba said.

After the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan, his family have been to the airport “every day” to try to leave.

A few days ago, the Taliban turned up at his parents’ house at night, Saba said, and asked for his older brother, who had gone into hiding to protect his family.

“They burned the house looking for him, but they searched and couldn’t find him,” Saba said.

The Taliban then grabbed a different brother and killed him instead.

“In front of my mum and in front of the kids they killed my younger brother.”

Pictures shown to the BBC show a man lying dead covered in wounds.

“They killed him really badly. You can not kill anybody like that,” Saba said.

“The Taliban said ‘if you don’t show us your brother we will come back and kill a kid each time until you tell us’.”

From a hiding spot out of view of the Taliban soldiers, Saba’s nephew managed to film what was happening.

Saba said: “I have a picture that they sent to me.

“He said ‘please we need your and the UK government’s help to get us immigration’.”

Within hours of the murder, Saba’s sister-in-law gave birth “to a child that will now grow up without a father”, he said.

His brother’s young children are now without a father and terrified.

The whole family have since gone into hiding. “Even I don’t know where he is,” Saba said.

“I haven’t got sleep, my sleep is gone. We need help.

“A million Afghans must be in the same situation.”

Details have been left out or changed to protect the identity of Saba’s family.

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