2020-02-12 › Herat Girl Whose Dog Was Killed by Gunmen Is Leaving The Country
Sahba Barikzai, a young girl from Herat, wants to leave the country days after her dog was killed by gunmen when she was out with her family for a picnic on the outskirts of the city of Herat on Friday, Feb. 8.
Ms. Barikzai said the gunmen threatened her family to prevent her from keeping a pet.
The girl owns a karate club and has almost 300 trainees from young boys and girls. She has closed the club and is indenting to sell all its facilities to afford the needs for her to leave the country.
“Staying here is ‘meaningless’ as we are not safe,” she said. “I cannot stay here anymore.”
Ms. Barikzai said women and girls “are not safe” in Herat and that they are under pressure by illegal armed men and a number of religious groups.
“Asemaan (the sky) was in my arms but they (the armed men) took her leg and said a girl cannot own a dog,” Ms. Barikzai explained. “I asked them to allow me to have my dog in my arms for the last moments of her life, but I was not allowed.”
Members of her karate club said it is hard for them to see their trainer leaving the country. They said they are concerned about illegal armed men’s presence in the western city.
“This is too hard to see that our trainer is leaving us while she has worked here for the past ten years,” said Hashmatullah Noorya, an athlete.
“We are upset that we will lose the only woman trainer in Herat,” said Hashmat Mohmand, an athlete.
Local officials said efforts are underway to prevent any activity by “irresponsible armed groups” in the city.
“We are assessing the existence of irresponsible armed men in Herat and we will act thoroughly against them,” said Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat governor.
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