women’s rights activist and former minister captured in Afghanistan is now safe.
Kamila Sidiqi, 46, one of Afghanistan’s most prominent women’s rights activists, managed to escape by private jet with 15 others to Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday as she continues to return to her family in London.
The British-Afghan citizen and former prime minister feared she would be targeted by the Taliban and has been left traumatized after the militant group moved closer to Kabul.
Now she is on her way to Bonn, Germany, hoping to be reunited with her family in Greenwich, south-east London, after she escaped.
Her husband Miran Sidiqi, 44, told of her “indescribable happiness” hearing her wife’s voice on a Whatsapp call after 18 hours of not knowing where she was.
“I have not slept in the last 48 hours. We are in a much better position now than we were two days ago, ”he told The Evening Standard.
“You can not describe the feeling in words when you think that you will lose your wife, the mother of your children.
“She feels happy that she is safe and alive and that she will get to see her children and her husband again. She is traumatized by all this action in a country that does not see her children and her husband.
“We just hope that she can now take some time to recover and calm down. The children are very excited to have their mother home. ”
Sidiqi said his wife was one of about 15 people on board the small plane to Zurich, which was arranged by the US State Department.
Her escape was also thanks to author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, who documented Mrs. Sidiqi’s life story in a book entitled The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.
Sidiqi said: “The author of her book helped her get out of there. How she did it, I do not know, but I am very grateful to her. ”
In her situation of safety, Mrs. Sidiqi was forced to leave her father and siblings in Kabul.
The mother of two was initially booked on an Emirates flight from Kabul to London on August 20 after visiting Afghanistan and attending her mother’s funeral.
But she was among passengers trapped and desperate to escape when her plane was canceled and the political situation worsened.
“She is a British citizen, but she is originally from Afghanistan,” Sadiqi said.
“We did not know who the Taliban would target, especially famous women. The Taliban conquer every city and there is no flight available because everyone wants to escape and run away.
“I can not describe how many thousands of people have different passports and visas to different countries who speak different languages and try to flee.
“She has been in a hotel and rested in Zurich Switzerland after a ten hour wait at the airport followed by an eight hour flight. I have no idea what the next step is. It’s so complicated because she’s from a red list country.
“We do not know when she will return to London, but the plan is to get her home as soon as possible. I wanted to worry about her staying in a quarantine hotel. I would rather she stays in Zurich for a while, calms down from stress and emotions.
“She is currently on her way to Bonn in Germany with my brother. We hope she gets put on a plane to London from there. When she gets home, we will reassure her, find out what happened and why, and give my condolences to her mother who died. ”