Taliban narco-jihadists continued to carry out cruel and inhumane punishment last year in the areas they control across Afghanistan, including stoning a woman to death for an extramarital affair and “cutting off the hands and feet of suspected criminals,” according to the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
In its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, DOS also reveals that U.S.-funded and trained Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) continue to engage in the abhorrent, centuries-old custom known as “bacha bazi” (literally translates to “playing with boys”).
There were reports that some members of the security forces, including members of the Afghan security forces, and pro-government groups sexually abused and exploited young girls and boys. On January 22, in Paktika Province, Afghan National Border Police reportedly sexually abused a 13-year-old boy at their check-post before shooting him.
There were multiple reports of “bacha bazi,” a practice in which men exploit boys for social and sexual entertainment. On March 20, a Tajik police commander in Faryab Province reportedly killed the son of another police commander, an Uzbek, for hosting a bacha bazi party with Tajik boys.
“Bacha bazi” involves powerful men sexually abusing young boys. DOS describes the horrendous act as one of the top human rights problems in Afghanistan.
“The most significant human rights issues included extrajudicial killings by security forces; disappearances, torture; arbitrary arrest; detention, including of women accused of so-called moral crimes; and sexual abuse of children by security force members,” State points out.
News reports have accused American servicemembers have of turning a blind eye to “bacha bazi” at the hands of the ANDSF, which includes police and army units.
The Pentagon denies the allegations.
Taliban terrorists are known for carrying out heinous acts as punishment in the areas they control. As of October of last year, the jihadist organization controlled or contested about 45 percent of Afghanistan.
There were numerous reports of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment by the Taliban and other antigovernment groups. In March the Taliban in northern Badakhshan Province stoned a woman to death for suspected “zina” (extramarital sex). There were other reports of the Taliban cutting off the hands and feet of suspected criminals.
News reports from November 2017 revealed that the Taliban hacked off an 85-year-old woman’s limbs before murdering her on charges of cooperating and supporting Kabul.
In June 2016, Taliban terrorists also reportedly “skinned alive” and “ripped out” the eyes of a 21-year-old Afghan in retaliation for the death of a high-ranking member of the group.
Under the Taliban regime, which the U.S. military overthrew in December 2001, the stoning of women for alleged adultery and other crimes was common.
However, the Taliban regime did render the practice of “bacha bazi” punishable by death, the U.S. Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog agency, reported in 2015.
Afghans “resurrected” the culturally sanctioned sexual abuse of children after the U.S. military removed the Taliban regime from power.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has reportedly attempted to further criminalize the act.
Various acts linked to “bacha bazi,” including sexual exploitation and forced dancing, are punishable by eight to 12 years in prison under existing Afghan laws, State notes.
Nevertheless, the practice remains prevalent.
Although the Taliban did not tolerate “bacha bazi” when it was in power, it has use children as bait to kill Afghan security forces. The terrorists have reportedly used ANDSF members’ affinity for child sex slaves to attack them.
Moreover, the Taliban and its Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) rivals, in particular, are increasingly using children as suicide bombers and soldiers, State reports.
Citing the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, State notes:
[T]he Taliban in Kandahar used children for front-line fighting and setting IEDs. The [Afghan] Ministry of Interior reported arresting 166 children for involvement in attacks against the government, with the largest contingent (28) recruited by ISIS-K in Nangarhar Province.
DOS also accuses the ANDSF of recruiting child soldiers.