Still In Plain Sight: The Plight of Afghan Boys

How long does it take for someone to consider a widely known instance of systematic child rape to be a problem? Clearly it is not ten years because that is how long the West has known about the plight of Afghanistan’s boys.

I first wrote about the bacha bazi or dancing boys in 2007. Ten years later, there are still articles claiming that this situation is hidden. How could it possibly be hidden when I, a practical nobody who lives thousands of miles from Afghanistan, have read and heard about it every year for the past decade? “Hidden” is not the appropriate word. “Ignored” would be more accurate.

An article featured on the Hindustan Times covers the topic yet again, with much the same horrific details about the treatment of these boys by their community. From the article: Continue reading

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Royal commission hears of abuse at juvenile detention center

Dylan Voller testified in December 2016 before the Northern Territory royal commission concerning the abuse he allegedly suffered while at the Don Dale detention center. I previously wrote about Voller’s situation, which came to light during the summer. Several videos taken from security cameras showed some of the abuse Voller experienced. However, it was footage showing Voller strapped to a restraint chair that broke the story.

The Australian government did its best to respond to the coverage, primarily by trying to minimize what was seen in the videos. As previously mentioned in those posts, there were prior reports of abuse at the Don Dale center and other juvenile facilities. The Northern Territory appears to have a higher rate of this abuse, particularly against Aboriginal youths.

The royal commission was held in an attempt to get a better insight into what the victims claim happened. Voller offered the following testimony:

Voller alleged guards charged detainees “rent” for staying at Don Dale, taking $1.5o a day from money the detainees had earned through good behaviour.

He also said he was forced to defecate into a pillowcase after guards at the Alice Springs juvenile facility refused to let him out of his cell to go to the toilet during the night. He said detainees would repeatedly be forced to urinate through the cell bars.

He was first strip-searched at about the age of 11 or 12, he said, and it would occur every time he was moved between facilities or in and out of isolation cells, or when he coming back from the bathroom because he had been throwing toilet paper at cameras to cover the screen.

Voller also alleged officers repeatedly stripped him of clothes and bedding for hours as a form of punishment, and denied him food and water.

One youth justice officer at Alice Springs noticed he was hungry in the middle of one night and threw muesli bars and fruit through to his cell, Voller said.

It did not stop there. Continue reading

Boy dies after nine officers fail to prevent abuse

I continue to marvel at how bizarrely we treat child abuse.

On one hand, any person can report child abuse against someone else and cause the services to step in and remove the child, often without any evidence of abuse or neglect. The services will put both parent and child through a series of exams, court hearings, therapy sessions before allowing the child back with his parents. Throughout the process, evidence that there is little reason for child protective services to be involved will be ignored.

Such cases would imply that child protective services and police are overzealous due to concern over child abuse. On the other hand, something like this happens to remind people that is not always the case:

Gabriel Fernandez was an 8-year-old boy who was tortured to death by his parents. His abuse was reported multiple times by his teacher and others who witnessed his horrifying injuries. However, the system that is ostensibly in place to prevent such abuse ultimately failed. Not one, but nine police officers tasked with investigating Gabriel’s abuse, refused to write so much as a single report that could’ve saved his life.

Not one officer, but nine. How many times does one need to see an abused child before one thinks someone should stop the abuse? Continue reading

Stop the Abuse: Hagar International

Often times people want to help others but do not know how. This cannot be any truer than when it comes to helping abused men and boys. The resources sometimes are not apparent and are often difficult to find. Sometimes the resources are hidden or even barred by other groups who wish to polarize the issue. The intent here is to provide those who wish to help male victims with the opportunity to do so.

Please remember that you do no have to empty your wallets to help. Even a small donation can go a long way. And for those on the other side of the issue, it would go a long way to demonstrating real concern for all victims if you donated as well.

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Hager International

Hagar restores to wholeness the lives of women and children in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam that have been torn apart by human rights abuse. Walking the whole journey of protection, recovery, empowerment and integration with each individual is the whole reason for Hagar.

Established in Cambodia in 1994, Hagar launched programing in both Afghanistan and Vietnam in 2009.

In 2004, the U.S. State Department named Hagar founder Pierre Tami as one of the its six international heroes in the struggle against the modern-day slave trade.

Because we believe that broken lives can become whole again.

Hagar’s name derives from the biblical story of Hagar in Genesis 16 and 21. Read the Hagar Biblical Story.

Currently, Hagar supports 1,200 women and child victims of trafficking, domestic violence and exploitation in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam. They were among the world’s most broken and despondent people… but not now.

Please donate and help make a difference.

One Ottawa Boy’s Hell: part 2

Last year I wrote about a case in which a Mountie faced numerous charges for torturing his son. The man’s excuse for this behavior was that his son was out of control and misbehaved. The man’s wife, the victim’s stepmother, claimed the boy made sexual advances toward her. All of this was used to justify locking the child in a basement, starving him nearly to death, beating him daily, and forcing him to do exercises.

None of this made much sense, but at the time I was unable to find out more information about the case. A recent article, however, provides some insight into the man’s actions: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v281

2 women who tried to make toddler do lewd acts get 15 years in prison — A regional trial court judge here recently handed down a 15-year prison term each to two women after finding them guilty of attempted human trafficking, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) in Southern Mindanao said in a statement. IACAT said the two women, whose real identities were not disclosed to protect the identities of their victims, were also fined P1 million each by Acting Presiding Judge Ma. Susana Baua of the Regional Trial Court Branch 8.

Advert Against ‘Rape Culture’ Portrays Being a Woman as the ‘Greatest Danger of All’ — A Norwegian campaign to stop sexual violence against women has received criticism for being sexist against men. The video, titled “#DearDaddy” and produced by CARE Norway, seeks to tackle “rape culture” as it shows the future life of the titular father’s unborn daughter asking him ”for a favour about boys.”

Boy ‘given electric shocks to genitals’ — Egypt must immediately release a 14-year-old boy who says he was sexually abused in detention by police using a wooden stick and bring his alleged torturers to justice, Amnesty International said. Mazen Mohamed Abdallah’s family told the rights group the teenager was repeatedly tortured in custody, including also being given electric shocks to his genitals. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v.64

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Lynndie England thinks the Iraqi soldiers she tortured got the “better end of the deal”

In an interview for The Daily, Lynndie England showed zero remorse for torturing and humiliating several Iraqi soldiers. The act landed her in prison for eight years, and it appears that the time behind bars only made her bitter. In the interview she stated:

“Their lives are better. They got the better end of the deal,” England said. “They weren’t innocent. They’re trying to kill us, and you want me to apologize to them? It’s like saying sorry to the enemy.”

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“All the prisoners that were there were on that tier of high-priority. They were there for a reason. They had killed coalition forces or they were planning to,” England told The Daily over a hamburger at a Mexican restaurant near her home in Fort Ashby. “They had information about where insurgents were hiding.”

England seems to forget a tiny, yet important fact: we attacked them first. We invaded their country to “save” them (not really) from a dictator who we thought (not really) had weapons of mass destruction (which we never found because he did not have them).

Yes, they are trying to kill you because you are trying to kill them. You bombed their country, destroyed what little infrastructure they had, treated just about everyone as a potential combatant, caused billions of dollars in damage, and caused hundreds of thousands of injuries and deaths to the civilians.

You do not get to complain that the people you started a war against had the nerve to fight back. That is what happens when you star a war. Continue reading