The captain of the afghan basketball team wheelchair bound, Nilofar Bayat, who managed to flee from Kabul and take refuge in SpainOn Monday, he called on the international community not to abandon his country because “the Taliban have not changed.”
“We want to United Nations, all countries, help Afghanistan“Said the 28-year-old athlete and feminist activist at a press conference in Bilbao (north), organized by the NGO Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR).
She arrived on Friday with her husband, Ramesh, to Madrid thanks to the airlift implemented by Spain, before going to Bilbao, where he says he wants to return to the courts “as soon as possible.”
“The day I saw them (the Taliban) around my home, I was scared, I started thinking about myself and my family,” he said. Nilofar, who feared for her life due to her public exposure in videos and her defense of women’s rights. “The Taliban could kill me, me and my family,” he said.
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The former law student decided to go to the airport in Kabul, where Spanish diplomats assured him a place on one of the planes sent by Madrid to the Afghan capital.
Amid the chaos, the Taliban beat her and her husband. “I cried a lot,” not because of the blows, but because of those who took “control of this country,” he said. After two days sleeping on the ground and without enough food, the couple finally managed to get on the Spanish plane that took them from the Afghan capital to Dubai.
He will never forget the Taliban, he says, as he lost a leg when he was two years old, after a rocket launched by them hit his home, also killing his brother and wounding his father.
The taliban “They changed my life forever” and “destroyed everything I worked for these years,” he said. “I am the best proof that the Taliban are dangerous,” he said.
Nilofar he wants to play again as soon as he can: “When I’m on the court, when I play basketball, I forget what happens in my country and that I have a disability.”
The athlete, who played a decisive role in the creation of a women’s basketball team, decided to settle in Bilbao, with her husband, in turn player of the Afghan team of the same sport.
Nilofar, who came to Spain Thanks to the intervention of a Spanish journalist friend, he has already received “numerous offers” from wheelchair basketball clubs, including from Bidaideak Bilbao BSR, and hopes to play again “as soon as possible.”