October 14, 2013
I expected this to get more news, but it appears no one picked it up:
Taliban molestation of boys, once rarely discussed in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is now becoming a more common topic of conversation.
Nematullah, a former would-be suicide bomber, told Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) that young men, including himself, endured sexual abuse by their trainers, according to a September 23 NDS statement.
Militant leader Mullah Ahmad (aka Mullah Akhtar), who trained the young man to carry out a suicide attack on his motorcycle in Adraskan District of Herat Province in September, also sexually abused him, Nematullah said.
Police foiled Nematullah’s attempted attack and informed NDS officials about his plot and the sexual victimisation of boys by the Taliban. Mullahs Nasim and Akhtar drugged several bombers-in-training to the point where they passed out and repeatedly abused them while they were unconscious, Nematullah said.
This is yet another instance of child rape against Afghan boys that the international community has ignored. I previously wrote about the dancing boys, boys forced to dress like women and dance at parties for Afghan warlords who then rape the boys afterwards.
Many of those boys were kidnapped or sold into slavery by their families. It appears the same thing happens with boys used as suicide bombers:
The militants often kidnap impoverished boys who are susceptible to being preyed upon, Khalid Khan, a special branch police officer, told Central Asia Online, noting that several boys who escaped Taliban training centres in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) told investigators that they were abused and that their parents could not do anything.
It is unlikely that forces stationed in Afghanistan know nothing about this. A Canadian soldier complained to his superiors about Afghan soldiers and warlords raping boys, but no one listened to him. The Obama administration changed the Army handbook, telling troops not to criticize Afghan practices, which included any criticism of pedophilia.
I cannot help but wonder if these problems would garner more attention if the victims were girls. None of these boys and young men will grace the cover of Time magazine. None of them will be offered a Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, they will suffer in silence, be shot by Coalition forces, or blown up in a suicide attack.
We spend billions of dollars helping Afghan girls learn to read, but we cannot spend a dime to prevent their brothers from being raped and killed.