‘We’ve been left to die’: Afghan doctor who campaigned against Taliban fears execution

Dr Sayed Jalil said he and his family have been hiding for days, with little access to water and food

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An Afghan doctor in Kabul who spoke out against the Taliban during a parliamentary election campaign said he fears the insurgents will kill him if he is found.

Dr Sayed Jalil, owner of the Al Sayed Hospital in Macroryan in Kabul, tried to go to the airport to escape.

But with commercial flights suspended, vast crowds of people have gathered in hope of a seat on an evacuation flight with the Taliban back in control.

Dr Jalil, 41, ran for parliamentary elections in Kabul in 2018, when he often spoke out against the Taliban.

His parents and sister worked for the United Nations and he said they are also in danger if they are found. The hospital he founded six years ago has closed and Dr Jalil said the equipment had been seized by the Taliban.

“I know that if the Taliban find me or my family, they are going to kill us,” he told The National.

“I’ve had to change my appearance as much as I can, so no one recognises me. I’ve been hiding for days. My sister and parents have fled to a village and some of our relatives are helping them hide. I don't have water or food with me. I'm scared to go outside.

“I don’t even know if my wife and children are alive. I haven’t been able to get in touch with them for days. But in my heart I know they are alive and well.

“Our family did a lot of social work and we thought the UN or some humanitarian agency would help us escape but we’ve been left here to die.”

The Taliban have taken over the country sparking chaotic scenes in Kabul as people tried to board planes.

During their previous rule from 1996 to 2001, strict laws were in place that forced women to stay home, girls were not allowed to go to school, men had to grow beards and music and dancing was not permitted.

“The Taliban are searching for people who spoke out against them and worked with foreign governments. A lot of us are not safe here any more and we are going to hide until there is a way out of the country,” Dr Jalil said.

Updated: August 17th 2021, 3:42 AM
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