Europe

Afghan evacuees in Italy fear for relatives left behind under Taliban

Over 4,000 Afghan nationals have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the Italian government since the Taliban took control of the country. But thousands remain stuck in the war-torn country. As a result, many families have been separated.

The international community wants to resume evacuations as soon as possible. But these plans would have to be negotiated with the Taliban.

Euronews met a family which has been recently resettled in Italy. They told us about the challenges they face.

The idea of leaving some of his relatives behind has been haunting Ahmad since he and his family arrived in Italy onboard an Italian military plane last August.

Not a day passes without thinking of his two sisters who are still in the Afghan capital Kabul as they could not travel with the rest of the family. Only a limited number of places had been allocated by the Italian authorities. Since the Taliban took over the country, they have been hiding from the group – living in fear, locked inside their homes.

“I cannot stop thinking about them. We are really concerned,” says Ahmad whose name has been changed for his protection.

“If they were males we would feel much better about it. They would be able to leave Afghanistan. Not only are we worried about my two sisters because nobody looks after them, but also about women in general. They cannot work.”

All members of Ahmad’s family are part of the Hazara Shi’ite minority that has long been persecuted by the Taliban and by the so-called Islamic State. Recent events have only added more suffering to their ill-fated lives.

“In the past four years, I have never left Kabul to go back to my hometown. I have heard that more than 100 people within our community including women were beheaded by the Taliban,” he says.

No matter how difficult it has been having to adapt to a new country, relief comes from a new sense of freedom and safety.

All five children of Ahmad have never lived under the Taliban and suddenly their dreams have been shattered.

“In Afghanistan, my dream was to become a politician but now I have changed my mind I want to be an artist or a doctor,” says the daughter of the Afghan refugee.

Watch the full report in the video player above.

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