I Was Tortured Three Times

We decided to leave and sold everything we had; there is no way back.

Written by Twila Bird
Photography by Lindsay Silsby
Ilhan, Afghanistan

We lived in a valley near Kabul that was controlled by the Taliban. ISIS was there, too. We were told we would be beheaded if we disobeyed orders to raise their flags in our village.

As Shia, we were not secure; we had continuous threats. I was tortured three times.

Sometimes the Taliban would tear away your skin while you are alive because you are Shia.

We decided to leave and sold everything we had; there is no way back. The regional leader will arrest us and will definitely behead us if we return.

I am responsible for my own family—my wife and four children—but also for my sister and nephew, who are both deaf and mute. I am a man, and I am stuck in this way.

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