Mohammad (43) fled his village in Afghanistan after a severe beating by Taliban fighters that left him in fear for his life.
“The fighting was happening everyday. The Taliban were coming to my village and came and killing and injuring people," says Mohammad. “Three years ago the Taliban were smaller. But six months ago they got more active.”
Amid the daily atrocities being carried out around him, Mohammad worked in a local hospital as a nurse caring for the sick and injured. That was until he also became a patient of war.
“The Taliban said they would kill me unless I came and fought for them. About two months ago they came and beat me up, kicking me and hitting me with things. They beat me with their hands, feet, their legs,” he says, gesturing their movements. “I had to have an operation on my back afterwards and have scars you can see,” revealing a line of stitches on his back. “They said I had to fight for them but I said no.”
Mohammad arrived to Presevo refugee registration center on the border between Serbia and Macedonia at 6am, after a journey that took him through Iran, Turkey, Greece and Macedonia. It took him 43 days to get to Serbia. He had no choice but to leave his family in Afghanistan, and looks visibly upset when he talks about leaving them at home.
“I have travelled by car, by donkey, by foot, and by ship from Greece. My back is sore and I can’t walk for long. I feel tired but I cannot stay here.”
Caritas Serbia is providing vital food and hygiene to people like Mohammad who are arriving to Presevo refugee registration centre on their way to Europe to escape war.