Originally posted on April 30, 2015
The National Post reported on a disturbing case of gang-rape. Ishmael Daro wrote that Taliban forces allegedly gang-raped a 16-year-old boy before sending him out on a suicide mission:
A 16-year-old boy in Afghanistan was repeatedly raped by Taliban fighters before being forced to undertake a suicide bombing mission, the country’s National Directorate of Security says.
The teenager, identified only as Bilal, was intercepted before he could carry out an attack on police headquarters in the Bagrami District of Kabul.
The NDS, the country’s domestic intelligence agency, released a video Sunday in which the would-be bomber told his story of repeated rapes by Taliban commanders. The alleged assaults happened in Nangarhar province, near the border with Pakistan.
In his video confession, Bilal said he was only sent on his suicide bombing mission after local residents found out about the sexual abuse. The night before the planned suicide attack, Bilal says a commander named Abozar taped his mouth shut and raped him, although he says he was abused by at least three other fighters before then.
Daro stated that it is difficult to confirm whether the practice is common. However, a previous report suggests it may occur often. Given the reaction of the community, this could be a method used by some Taliban leaders to ensure the boys carry out the mission. The social disgrace coupled with the shame of the assault would be enough to make some boys want to die. This would work well the desired suicide mission, particularly as a fail-safe should indoctrination fail.
It is also possible that there are simply men within the Taliban exploiting their power. Although the Taliban has a history of cracking down on the practice of bacha bazi, the centuries old practice of ritualized pederasty, this would not be the first time someone has opposed an act they engage in.
It is horrible that the boy may have been gang-raped, yet it is good that he was caught before he had the chance to kill anyone, including himself. One hopes he gets the help he needs, however, services for abused boys are severely lacking in that part of the world.