The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Afghanistan’s stolen boys: ‘Bachas’, former child sex slaves trying to find freedom of sorts

AFGHANISTAN: Adorned in make-up, fake breasts and bells, Jawed whirls around middle-aged men at Kabul’s underground bacha bazi, or “boy play” parties, where the former child sex slave finds freedom of sorts as a dancing boy.

sex, culture, violence, military,


AFP

Sunday 6 August 2017, 01:00PM


Jawed was kidnapped by a former jihadi commander in Shomali, north of Kabul, when he was barely 14, a victim of a hidden epidemic in Afghanistan of culturally-sanctioned male rape.

He is one of three former “bachas” who managed to escape their abusers. Their testimonies shed searing light on the stolen lives of boy sex slaves, often seen as caricatures of shame and cast out of their families, with many like Jawed falling prey to a new cycle of abuse.

Four years after he was kidnapped, Jawed’s commander replaced him with a new boy slave, and “gifted” him to another strongman.

The 19-year-old says he escaped one night amid the chaos of a gunfight at a wedding where his new captor took him to entertain guests.

But dancing is the only skill he has that can earn a livelihood, having had no education and with virtually no protection offered in Afghanistan for bacha bazi survivors.

Now he performs for powerful male patrons at dance parties, where the evening often ends in sex – underlining how, even when they are free, victims struggle to break out of the role that has been forced on them.

“Fights usually break out over who will take me home” after the parties, 19-year-old Jawed said, requesting that his real name not be revealed.

Bacha bazi is not seen as homosexuality in Afghanistan’s gender segregated society – instead the possession of young boys decked out as pretty women symbolises power and primacy. It is carried out with impunity often within Western-backed Afghan forces.

After two failed attempts that resulted in a beating, 15-year-old Gul escaped barefoot at the end of three months of captivity in a police outpost in Helmand’s Nad Ali district.

But there was no going home again. Gul lives constantly on the move, chased by the paralysing fear he will be kidnapped once more.

His parents and brothers, meanwhile, have been forced to flee their home over fears the powerful commander will come looking for him.

“‘Transform yourself into a woman,’ the checkpoint commander would tell me” with make-up and ankle bells, Gul said by telephone from his hiding place.

Gul was one of three bachas at the checkpoint. Troublingly, he said, the policemen prowled for more victims – especially effeminate boys from poor families unable to fight back.

“They tried to outdo each other: ‘My boy is more handsome than yours, my boy is a better dancer’,” he said.

C and C Marine

For some the only escape is to forge a secret deal with the Taliban, who have successfully recruited boy sex slaves hungry for revenge to kill their abusers within police ranks, it was revealed last year.

Unlike many other victims, Gul is relatively fortunate in that his family was ready to take him back.

“Family honour is like a glass of water. One speck of dirt ruins it,” said Aimal, a former bacha in his 30s who was abandoned by his parents. “If I were a woman my family wouldn’t leave me alive.”

The shame also stalks parents who try to help their children, say medical professionals in southern Afghanistan who treat the brutally violated survivors.

“Increasingly parents will bring boys saying they have bowel problems,” said a surgeon in Helmand province, where bacha bazi is widespread, corroborating what two other health officials said.

“But a closer examination shows the boys were raped and need to be stitched up. The parents break down in tears: ‘We want no publicity, just save my boy.’”

Aimal, who requested his real name be withheld, was discarded after years of enslavement to a jihadi commander in northern Balkh province as he began sprouting a beard.

Now a youth activist in Kabul, he said he did not want to end up the way that many other victims do – becoming predators themselves.

President Ashraf Ghani this year laid out stringent penalties against bacha bazi for the first time in a revised penal code, but the government has given no time frame over when they will be enforced.

Instead, authorities in February launched a massive raid on a bacha bazi party in Kabul, jailing not the organisers but a handful of dancing boys, multiple witnesses said.

“For me dancing is not a crime,” said Aimal. “This culture of victimising the victim must end.”

In a country with little legal protection or psychosocial support, victims might be lucky to escape their abusers but not their past. Almost by default, prostitution has become a common fallback for many abused boys.

“Dancing has become too risky” since the raid, Jawed said before he sidled back into his underground life. “Now I might only do sex work.” AFP

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Chinese tourists rescued from dangerous Phuket surf

If it's not the tour buses, it's the ocean. Phuket seems to be a killing field for Chinese tourists....(Read More)


Patong residents plea against forced evictions for B6bn tunnel

I am surprised by reading about EXAT's Land Division officials statement. The poison is in the tale. EXAT just state that it will pay landowner...(Read More)


Going Down: Businesses on Phuket’s famed Bangla Rd suffer as clientele dries up

Phuket has lost it's Good Tourists !Especially Individual Tourists and small Groups of family or friends. NOW Phuket shot itself in the foot wit...(Read More)


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

Was this a spiritual medium happening about 50 years ago? A article about how people felt and believed at that time? By the way, Patong Hill is sa...(Read More)


Canadian tourist charged for killer Phuket U-turn

Also condolences to family dead motorbikers. If a motorbiker not drive according the thai traffic laws, meaning, wearing a helmet, obey speed signs, ...(Read More)


Login game premier league competition

Hi, Is it only me or have you not included the Man City result from monday night ....(Read More)


Phuket rescue workers appeal to Chinese gods for a ‘safer’ Patong Hill

They should ask that poor lady with the house at the bottom of the hill to put up a big shrine to the Chinese gods in her front yard. We'll see ju...(Read More)


Going Down: Businesses on Phuket’s famed Bangla Rd suffer as clientele dries up

I don't go to Patong, i went once when i came her 5 years ago, but because of the greedy mindset of the Thias who want to cream as much money as t...(Read More)


Canadian tourist charged for killer Phuket U-turn

Firstly, sincere condolences to the dead motorcyclist's family & friends. Too bad he was not wearing a helmet which is Thai Law. It may hav...(Read More)


Canadian tourist charged for killer Phuket U-turn

I would recommend to leave a.s.a.p. Horst...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.