Afghan president promises to crack down on widespread rape of boys

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani vows a crackdown on pederasty
(Image credit: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called the sexual abuse of boys, common among powerful men in the country's security forces and government, "unacceptable" and promised to prosecute pedophiles no matter their military or social rank. "Six-year-, 8-year-, 10-year-olds are raped, and I'm not going to tolerate this," he told The New York Times via videoconference. "To the extent to which the authority of the state can be harnessed to this task, we are going to focus on it and not permit it."

That won't be easy, The Times notes. Ghani said that the widespread, often ritualized rape of boys has roots in Afghanistan's "Greek and Turkish heritage," but that after speaking with U.S. Gen. John F. Campbell on Monday, the Afghan government is setting up a committee to investigate all allegations of child rape. "We will take action, ranging from removing people from the security forces to introducing them to the courts."

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