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By Tamim Hamid in Afghanistan:
‘Child rape may plunge country into anarchy’
Sex attacks on Afghan children continue to rise, rights group says
AN AFGHAN human rights organisation has said the increase in the number of child rapes may drag the country into anarchy.
Child rapes have risen sharply in recent years, according to Afghanistan’s Human Rights Organisation (AHRO), which claims most of the sexual assaults are carried out by government officials and other powerful men.
A two and a half-year-old girl was recently raped in the northern province of Jowzjan. The child is thought to be in a critical condition in hospital.
In the last month, five children have been raped in the country, the AHRO said.
Head of the organisation, Lal Gul, said: “The situation is getting more critical every day. The government must not be quiet and must do its best to stop this problem. Law must be enforced equally on everyone.”
Most rapes in Afghanistan go unrecorded because families fail to report them under pressure from criminals, AHRO said.
The Interior Ministry recently arrested and then fired five security officials in the northern province of Sar-e-Pul for failing to properly investigate the rape of a 12-year-old girl.
Badakhshan MP Sadullah Abo Aman said: “Such crimes have increased so much that even children are raped. There is no pity, nor any sense. These incidents show that the government is very weak.”
Abdul Hameed Aimaq, a senator from Kunduz, said: “The courts take bribes, the attorney offices take bribes, and there is no one to ask about all this. For this reason, there are killings, rapes, thefts, and everything else. There is no government in reality.”
The Interior Ministry refused to comment on the rape of the two and a half-year-old girl in Jowzjan.
- Delhi youth gets 20 years’ jail for raping child (firstpost.com)
- Afghan Authorities Probe Child Marriage (rferl.org)
Children live in Afghan prisons though they haven’t committed any crime
Released : Wednesday, August 06, 2008 4:48 AM
KABUL, Afghanistan, Three-year-old Wahid nervously clutched a dirty blue stuffed bunny as the other children in the prison huddled around.
“Are you taking us to an orphanage?’ he wanted to know.
Asked by some visitors if he wanted to go, Wahid waffled between yes and no, unable to decide which was worse, moving to an orphanage or staying in prison with his mother.
Wahid is one of 226 young children who live in Afghanistan’s prisons, with mothers who are among the country’s 304 incarcerated women. These children have committed no crime. But their mothers have decided prison is the best option for them in a poor, war-torn country where a safe, comfortable home is a rarity.
Soldier may face murder charge in Afghan death
By Kevin Maurer – The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Aug 6, 2008 6:28:07 EDT
FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Army prosecutors said Tuesday they plan to seek a murder charge against a Special Forces soldier accused of killing and mutilating the body of a civilian in southern Afghanistan.
Officials at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said prosecutors believe Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newell killed a resident of Hyderabad, a village in the country’s Helmand province, on March 5. He is also accused of cutting off the man’s ear, larceny and violating a lawful order.
Officials would not provide any additional detail about the larceny or order violation charges. If charged and convicted, he faces life without parole.
Newell, who was a team sergeant assigned to the Fort Bragg-based 3rd Special Forces Group, faces an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury. The August 12 hearing will determine whether he will be court-martialed on the charges. The hearing is not used to decide guilt, only whether there’s enough evidence to hold a trial.
Newell’s team of Special Forces soldiers was hit by a roadside bomb, and the next day, authorities believe, Newell shot the Afghan civilian and then cut off his ear, according to two Special Forces soldiers with knowledge the investigation. They spoke on a condition of anonymity because Newell has not yet appeared before the Article 32 hearing.
It is unclear why Newell allegedly shot the man, the soldiers said.
Capt. Chris Augustine, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, said he could not release additional details before the hearing, including Newell’s age and service history. Augustine said Newell has been in custody at Fort Bragg since returning from Afghanistan earlier this year.
Augustine said Newell had both a military and civilian attorney, but he did not know who they were.
In a statement, Army officials said the shooting was reported by Newell’s teammates to commanders in 3rd Special Forces Group, who referred the case to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
It is the second time that Special Forces soldiers from Fort Bragg have been accused of killing an Afghan civilian, since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Last year, Capt. Dave Staffel and Master Sgt. Troy Anderson were accused of killing Nawab Buntangyar in October 2006 in the village of Ster Kalay, near the Pakistan border, in a case that involved questions of decisions made during the height of combat.
At their Article 32 hearing, officers concluded the charges were unfounded, and U.S. Special Forces commander Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Csrnko dismissed them.
Still, the investigation into Newell’s actions comes as U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are under increased scrutiny. Caroline Wadhams, a senior policy analyst at the Washington-based Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank headed by John D. Podesta, President Clinton’s former chief of staff, said the incident will further inflame relations between the Afghans and the international forces operating in their country.
U.S. TROOPS KILL FOUR AFGHAN WOMEN, CHILD AND MILITANTS
U.S.-led coalition forces accidentally killed four Afghan women and a child along with several militants during an operation targeting a Taliban insurgent, a U.S. military statement said on Friday.
U.S. BOMBING BREEDS RESISTANCE
His father, brother and a daughter were among those killed. “You cannot take revenge against a plane,” he said. “But I will not forgive the foreigners for this crime.”
500 DEAD GIS
Make no mistake, NATO is not winning in Afghanistan. . . . There’s a real war going on. People are dying all the time in Afghanistan.
Taliban and other militant groups have turned increasingly to the insurgents’ weapon of choice in Iraq — the improvised roadside bomb — to attack American and other allied forces in Afghanistan.
A RAGTAG PURSUIT OF THE TALIBAN
[R]oadside bombs have become more frequent and firefights have grown fiercer. . . . “At a certain point, it becomes detective work,” Higgins said. “The enemy is moving among the people.”
RAGTAG TALIBAN SHOW TENACITY IN AFGHANISTAN
Afghan and NATO officials say the Taliban today operate much as the mujahedeen did in the 1980s, when they used Pakistan as their rear base, to drive out the Soviet Army, which had invaded Afghanistan.
GATES PUSHING PLAN TO DOUBLE AFGHAN PUPPET ARMY
[T]he plan was described by officials as an attempt to increase allied and Afghan capabilities in advance of deploying the additional American brigades that Mr. Gates and his commanders agree are necessary.