Image from PBS Frontline
The Suffering of the Innocent
August 29, 2021
by Sean Kullman
The U.S. Government, too, has remained silent regarding the incidence of sexually abused boys (Bacha bazi) in Afghanistan until a U.S. soldier came forward and reported the abuse that was ignored by higher-ups in the chain of command. “One incident that gained media attention involved Army Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, a Green Beret who admitted he lost his cool during a 2011 deployment to Kunduz province. Martland and his captain struck an Afghan police officer, who allegedly had confessed to raping a boy and then beating the child’s mother for telling authorities.”
The number of boys recruited, abducted, and sold into militant actions remains largely unknown and is seriously undercounted. In one PBS Frontline story, a United Nations task force documented the recruitment of 560 child soldiers. 556 were boys. "Boys as young as six were used to unknowingly transport explosives in 2014, and two of the three were killed when they detonated," according to the Frontline story.
"These children were being sent to be trained to attack Afghan and international forces in suicide training camps. Afghan police said they rescued a convoy of 41 children, some aged as young as six, from being smuggled over the border to Pakistan and trained as suicide bombers."
(Photo: Khan Wali Salarzi)