One of the best female police officers in Afghanistan is on the run in Kabul and is fleeing from apartment to apartment after she was “brutally beaten” by the Taliban.
Gulafroz Ebtekar, presumably 34 years old, had a meteoric rise to become deputy head of the criminal police in Afghanistan.
As a high-ranking official in the Interior Ministry, she was seen as a high-profile role model for Afghan women under the overthrown pro-Western government with a familiar face in the media.
But now she is fighting for her life after being thrown to the ground by Taliban thugs and fearing death, she told the Russian newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets.
“I spent five nights without bread and water at the gates of Kabul airport, in the bullet rain and surrounded by the Taliban,” she said.
“I’ve seen the deaths of children and women.
“I have sent embassies from many countries to save myself and my family, but all to no avail.”
She now seems fatalistic about her chances on her trail with the Taliban.
“I have nothing to fear, I have nothing more anyway,” she said.
The policewoman told how she found US soldiers in the chaos of Kabul and believed that they would help her to fly abroad with her boyfriend and family members.
“We came to the refugee camp where the Americans were stationed,” she said.
“When the American soldiers were already nearby, I exhaled, I thought we were finally safe.
“I speak a little bit of English.
“I explained that it was not safe for us to stay in Kabul.
“You checked our records. I had my ID, passport and police certificates with me.
“We were asked: ‘Where are you going?’ I replied, “It doesn’t matter to a safe country where we have a chance to survive”.
“They looked at me and replied, in a very rude way, ‘Okay’.
“And they asked a soldier to show us the way.
“I thought they’d escort us to a plane or keep us safe.”
They first escorted her to a crowded street where there was a terrorist attack, she said.
“We didn’t want to leave, then the soldier raised his weapon: ‘Get out of here.’
“So we took to the streets. At that moment I didn’t want to live anymore.
“I realized that there was nothing human in the people, but it wasn’t safe to stay in Afghanistan.”
The soaring Gulafroz had graduated from one of the best police academies in Russia, but the Moscow embassy also declined, apparently not to anger the Taliban, telling her she was powerless because she did not have a Russian passport or residence.
She told the newspaper: “I dreamed of changing life in Afghanistan.
“First of all, when it comes to women in the police force. And I did.
“When I returned to my homeland, I got a position in the Home Office and soon got a pretty high position.
“I became deputy head of criminal investigation at the Afghan Interior Ministry.”
But the rise of the Taliban shattered her old life and her dreams, which were publicly outlined in March, of a strong upswing for women in the police force.
“The situation changed in one day,” she said.
She witnessed the violence of the Taliban at the airport first hand, she said.
She once saw American soldiers “beating people, women and children,” she said.
She left the airport and went home to find out from her mother that the Taliban had taken her while she was away.
She moved into the first of three apartments where she had tried not to fall into the hands of the zealots.
While trying to escape to Kabul airport on a new trip, Taliban guards beat her.
“All of her words were hit with blows,” she said.
“When I was beaten again, I couldn’t get up, I couldn’t say a word.
“The Taliban behaved like this: first they struck, then they allowed you to move.
“You take a step or two and pay for it.
“They hit me with fists, boots, weapons and even stones.”
After this attack, she went to see the US soldiers, but to no avail.
Her former police officers asked her “what will happen to us”, but she has no answers.
“I spoke on television, spoke on social networks, fought against extremism and terrorism, stood up for the rights of women and children and believed in what was best for our country,” she said.
“But my previous life is gone. I can’t say what’s next, how I can live and work. “
She was warned by the Taliban six months ago, she said.
“The Taliban wrote me letters saying not to work in the police, I have no right to talk about women’s rights.
“’What are women’s rights….? Why are you posting your photos on Facebook and Instagram? ”These are the comments I received from you a year or six months ago.
“And now you are in power.”
She warned: “I think the Taliban will never change.
“You will not allow a woman to work, participate in public life, and be free.
“When the Taliban came to Kabul 20 years ago, they made the same promises for two months as they do now.
“And then they created their own state, their own courts, beat and killed people. For me this is the most dangerous terrorist group….
“Now my whole family is in great danger, every minute counts.”
She said, “I was the first woman in Afghanistan to graduate from a police academy with a Masters degree and hold such a high position …
“After me, around 4,000 Afghan women have attended police universities.
“I am not afraid to speak openly because I have nothing left.
“The state of Afghanistan no longer exists, there is no freedom. All along I fought to lead a normal life in the country.
“If there is no such life now, why should I be afraid?”