Muslim soldiers are using boys as sex slaves, and the U.S. is looking the other way

Last summer, an Afghan police commander invited me to his post for tea — and to view his “beautiful” boy sex slave.

I stumbled through a farm of chest-high opium poppy stocks to reach his mud-and-wattle outpost on the outskirts of Tarin Kot, the capital of southern Uruzgan province that is teetering in the face of a Taliban upsurge. On its open roof, a slight teenager sat next to his hulking captor, stealing sad glances at me as he quietly filled our tea glasses.

A shock of auburn curls jutted out of his embroidered pillbox hat and his milky eyes were lined with kohl. The commander flaunted him the way a ringmaster exhibits an exotic animal. “See my beautiful bacha (boy slave),” he said, blithe and casual, a gun dangling at his side.

The commander, an ally of the United States in the war against the Taliban, is not an anomaly. Hundreds of such outposts of the Afghan Local Police (ALP), a frontline force armed and funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars, and other pro-government militias are believed to have enslaved young boys for dancing and sexual companionship, many of them kidnapped.

Freedom from the Taliban’s puritanical regime in 2001 also brought freedom to do “bacha bazi,” the cultural practice of sexual slavery and abuse of boys who are often dressed effeminately and whose possession is seen by Afghan strongmen as a marker of power and masculinity…

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Also published on Fenixx.org

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