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New Penal Code to Be Adopted Against “Bacha Bazi” by Afghan Government

18 Jun 2017 Rasad News Agency

RNA: Afghanistan is set to lay out stringent penalties for “bacha bazi” – sexual slavery and abuse of boys – for the first time, officials say, in a landmark move against the deeply entrenched practice.

AFP revealed last year how the Taliban were exploiting rampant bacha bazi in police ranks to mount deadly insider attacks, exposing a hidden epidemic of kidnapping of young boys for institutionalised sexual slavery.

The revelations intensified longstanding demands by campaigners for Kabul to enact an incisive legal provision to curb bacha bazi — literally “boy play” — which has seen a striking resurgence in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

A raft of punishments will now be listed in Afghanistan’s revised penal code — from up to seven years in jail for sexual assault to capital punishment for “aggravated cases” such as violating more than one boy.

“There is an entire chapter on criminalising the practice (bacha bazi) in the new penal code,” Nader Nadery, a senior advisor to President Ashraf Ghani, told AFP.

“The code is expected to be adopted any time this month. This is going to be a significant step towards stopping this ugly practice.”

A draft of the chapter seen by AFP, titled “Driving children towards moral corruption”, also states that bacha bazi victims cannot be prosecuted, a significant caveat in a nation where sex assault victims often face punishment.

Afghanistan’s criminal law previously only prohibited pederasty and sex outside of marriage, which rights campaigners said did not sufficiently address the problem of bacha bazi.

“This chapter clearly defines bacha bazi as a crime, leaving no room for ambiguity,” Ghani’s legal advisor Nasrullah Stanekzai told AFP, waving printed copies of the revised penal code in his hand.

The post New Penal Code to Be Adopted Against “Bacha Bazi” by Afghan Government appeared first on Rasad News Agency.

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