SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local LGBT activist and native of Afghanistan has compiled a list of some 500 people he's helping to escape the country.
On the day the Taliban took over, 17-year-old James, gay and living in Afghanistan, got very scared.
“It was the worst feeling that I've ever had in my life,” said Sadat.
San Diegan and LGBT activist Nemat Sadat, who lived in Afghanistan as a child, says James is hardly alone.
“The Taliban have been forcing famous to even hand over their own family members,” said Sadat.
Sadat says after Taliban judges called for LGBT people to be killed, the Taliban have begun searching door to door. He knows of some people that have disappeared or been killed, while others have been beaten, including transgender people.
“They've been beaten to near death. They’ve needed to get medical treatment, but they’re been scared to get medical treatment,” said Sadat.
A photo released by Sadat shows the bandaged, bloody hand of a gay man that contacted him. The man had been given a horrific choice.
“You want a slow death and stab you in the hand, or do you want a quick death and we just shoot you point-blank. He chose to live. They stabbed him and he went to the hospital … and apparently, the Taliban have apprehended him from there, and he was picked up and taken to an undisclosed location,” said Sadat.
That man is on a list of some 500 LGBT people Sadat is hoping to help escape the country.
Working with various international nonprofits, he's been helping them leave since the US military left.
“Buying them airline tickets, guiding them on how to get a proper visa and then also getting them to a safe house,” said Sadat.
So far, Sadat has helped 25 people leave Afghanistan, including James.
“The journey was totally scary, as well as nervous,” said James.
After a harrowing journey, he crossed into a neighboring country, with hopes of getting to Canada or Australia.
For Sadat, it’s a measure of relief, but there are so many more to help.
“The best thing I can do save as many lives as possible,” said James.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help Sadat with his mission.