Bacha bazi victims need to be protected, says rights official
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission (AHRC) chief for the northeastern zone on Tuesday said he was concerned about the growing practice of bacha bazi (playing with boys), asking the government to protect children prone to organised sexual abuse.
Hayatullah Amiri told a gathering in Kunduz City, the capital of northern Kunduz province, that child sexual abuse and violence against underage and adolescent boys had increased in northeastern provinces. He urged the government to take immediate notice of the growing social and moral evil
Despite regular media reports about sexual attacks on children, the practice had increased and needed strong measures to be eradicated, he said,urging government officials, civil society activists, clerics and political leaders to jointly work to discourage child sexual abuse, harassment and violence.
The rights official said victims of bacha bazi should be provided proper and psychological treatment by establishing an exclusive centre for them. Amiri also said there was no clause in criminal laws defining punishment for pedophilia, thus allowing the practice to continue.
Mir Ewaz Mohammad, a civil society activist, asked the government to modernize the legal system and create a law that harshly punished child sexual abusers in order others could learn a lesson.
He said high government and security officials were involved in bacha bazi, but did not name any. He said these individuals forced children dressed in woman clothes to dance before sexually abusing them. The government should take notice of the situation immediately, he said.
Kunduz police spokesman Syed Sarwar Hussaini said they had received no complaint against any official about involvement in bacha bazi. He said police would take immediate action if received such complaints.
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