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Human Rights Group Report 'Confirms' Sex Abuse in Logar

18 Feb 2020 Tolo News

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in a report on Tuesday claimed confirmation of the involvement of several teachers and school officials in the sexual abuse of children in Logar province.

According to the Human Rights Commission, "credible evidence" shows that a number of students who became the victims of sexual abuse either left the schools or were dropped from their schools.

“Stories were heard from the families and the victims. They shared their stories with us and this shows that the cases that were claimed by the Logar activists existed in Logar,” said Zabiullah Farhang, head of the media department of AIHRC.

The AIHRC report also stated that the children in Logar are still faced with the threat of sexual abuse in the workshops, kilns, sports clubs and tailoring shops.

The Human Rights Commission said that it has referred the names of at least eighteen suspects to the Attorney General. But the AIHRC did not specify the identity and the details of the suspects.

“Some people came and tried to hide this highly shameful and horrible case,” said Abdul Zahir Tamim, a member of the Afghan parliament.

But the office of the Attorney General of Afghanistan has said that its investigation on the report of sexual abuse of children in Logar is still underway and that the attorney general so far has not achieved solid and credible evidence to confirm that the Logar education department was involved in the case.

According to the AIHRC, factors such as lack of security, people's sensitivity to the issue, distrust among the people of legal and judicial institutions, fear of the victims about their identity being disclosed, threats and pressure by the strongmen for hiding these cases--are all obstructions in the way of investigating the case.

“The suspects and the accused of the case in Logar are the government institutions, so the president does not want the government institutions to be blamed or to be punished so that the government institutions are reformed,” said Ali Farhang, a legal expert.

Last November, research by Logar’s civil society alleged hundreds of sex abuse claims from male children and youth from six schools where the study was done.

Mohammad Mussa Mahmoudi, the head of Logar’s civil society, claimed that teachers, headmasters and local officials were involved in an abuse ring.

Initially, the UK's Guardian published an article that brought international attention to the civil society report, quoting Mahmoudi as saying that "over 500" male children and youth had allegedly been abused.

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