Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Afghanistan: Child Abuse, Sexual Humiliation; and Rape


Afghanistan: Child Abuse, Sexual Humiliation; and Rape

In my last three articles on Child abuse and play boy business in Afghanistan, I highlighted the issue scrupulously with a limited details, but anyhow I received dozens of e-mails from Northern Afghanistan, Europe and Pakistan. Some Afghan vilified me for exposing the culture of male prostitution of the country but majority of my readers highly appreciated my shallow efforts. In fact, I have never been associated with any political or religious group in Afghanistan since 1964. I am a free tribal man of no political or sectarian background.

A background that elevated me to the skies is my intellectual and literary background which is my real asset. Last week, I came across a video on YouTube in which 12 years Old Persian speaking girl was crying of her injuries and bleeding in front of a local NGO. She was forcefully married to a criminal warlord who not only abused her; but severely tortured as well. Her weak and beautiful hand was bleeding and torn cloths were blood stained after she got knife injuries in the hand of her husband. "Please help me get divorce, next time he will kill me, he injured me with a knife". She was crying again and again with demanding attention, but her crying and dismal face disappointed me and I got high blood pressure for two days.

Northern Afghanistan has recently embroiled in many hazardous diseases like HIV/AIDS, male and female prostitution. The main factors behind these diseases are considered to be poverty and unemployment. Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and the culture of militarization produced innumerable smugglers, prostitutes, suicide bombers and professional criminals across the country.  
In Northern provinces, poverty stricken children are sexually abused, while in Pashtun dominated provinces, children are being recruited for suicide terrorism. This has now become an unfortunate culture of the country. Warlords in both Northern and Southern Afghanistan arrange parties, invite dancing boy and pay them for sex. As BBC reported the disturbing thing happens in the end of parties, is the boys are taken to hotels and sexually abused.

This ignominious practice is against the principles of Islam and against child rights. Child abuse in the country remained a big problem while illiterate parents are using their children in forced labor to pay off family debts. There are in ordinate cases of child abuse but only few are reported to the police. Parents don't want to report case of the abuse of their children to the police because they understand that police is already abusing innocent children in many ways.

According to the article 54 of the constitution of Afghanistan; "Family is the fundamental unit of society and is protected by the state. The state shall adopt necessary measures to ensure physical and psychological well being of family, especially of child and mother, upbringing of children and the elimination of traditions contrary to the provisions of sacred religion of Islam."

After the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, in the penal code of 1976 law is still in practice with various provisions. Article 398 sets punishment for honor killings, adultery, fornication and homosexuality. Article 427 describes long-term prison for adultery and also increases the available punishment if there is a "violation of honor killing". Afghan Constitution is only on papers, both the police and government neither official nor ordinary Afghan know about their country constitution.

Regretfully, being an Islamic country, the business of drugs, children and women trafficking, Bacha-Bazi and dancing clubs have undermined the so-called Afghani Ghairat, Pashtunwali and love to Islam. Bacha-Bazi is in no way acceptable in Islam while Islam is being misinterpreted in the country. Children have rights in Islam but they have no access to education, house, job, health and basic rights.
The streets of Afghan cities are full of working children, some polish shoes, some beg, some gather plastic bottles to resell and some are kidnapped for male prostitution. Last month, in Herat province, a 14 year old boy complained about his rape but didn't report to the police. Afghan hospitals are full of raped and abused children who receive medical treatment for their physical injuries. Article 427 of Afghanistan's penal code determines "long term" imprisonment for adultery. The article further elucidates that child abuser can be jailed for six to 10 years.

Normally, Bach-Bazi or child sex in the country is within the context of sexual acts with boys, in which adult men buy sexual favors from young boys with money or gifts. In this business, Private and pro-government militias have been found deeply involved. These Companies promote child recruitment and child abuse. Underage children are often abused sexually, tortured and put into hard labor. In many parts of the country, there are community-based militias of Bacha-Bazi addicted men such as the Afghan Local Police, in troubled provinces who have free hand and they do every thing whatever they want. Children in Afghanistan are suffering disastrous level of abuse; they are abused and insulted both in society and within homes. In Afghan prisons, they are tortured and raped. Torture and sexual assaults in Prisons presents a grim picture of scant respect for human rights.

The ways of torture of the Afghan police and security agencies are beating by stick, scorching bar, or iron bar; flogging by cable; battering by rod; electric shock; deprivation of sleep, water, and food; abusive language; sexual humiliation; and rape. Another painful story revealed by Wiki Leaks recently describes the involvement of foreign contractors in child abuse, training of Afghan policemen who take drugs and pay for young boys. Afghanistan's sex industry is booming, according to both private and official sources. Statistics are scattered, and few solid figures exist.

To address the issue properly, News and Media Radio reported (2011) Afghan government signed a formal agreement with the UN to ban the recruitment of children into the armed forces and stop the sexual abuse of young boys by the military commanders and warlords. The culture of play boy, dancing boy or Bacha-Bazi must be undermined, warned the UN.

Musa Khan Jalalzai is the Executive Editor of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan and the author of Afghanistan Beyond 2014 and Punjabi Taliban. He can be reached at: zai.musakhan222@gmail.com.

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