Talqan(Pajhwok): A 12-year-old boy, hailing from southern Helmand province, was brought from Pakistan and then moved to neighboring Takhar where he was drugged, sexually abused and forced into dancing.
Baryalai, not a real name, is currently living in a Child Protection Centre in Takhar. Some security officials in Takhar helped a Pajhwok team find the boy for an interview.
When arrived, Baryalai looked at our reporter, his camera, mic and other equipment and began shivering.
Baryalai’s father is from Helmand and his mother is a Pakistani national from Peshawar. His parents currently live in Helmand, but Baryalai lives with his grandfather in Peshawar’s Yousufabad area.
“They sexually abused me after I fell unconscious due to drug,” Baryalai said, starting his story. “I was eight-years old when my parents came to Helmand and I stayed with my grandfather to seek religious education.”
In Peshawar’s Madrasa, some students from Kunduz also studied there. “I finished my Madrasa education. My classmates told me to go with them to Kunduz Imam Sahib district for further religious education. When they were leaving for Kunduz, I also decided to go with them.”
In Imam Sahib district, he started religious education in Maki Madrasa and developed friendship with an individual named Ishaq.
“Ishaq told me the situation in Kunduz had deteriorated and we should leave for Takhar where better seminaries exist so I came with him.”
Baryalai paused for a moment and started speaking again. “Ishaq told someone on the telephone about me that he had brought a beautiful boy and want to sell him, are you interested?” Baryalai quoted Ishaq as telling the person on his phone.
“When I heard him saying this, I was frightened, but could not do anything,” he said.
It was 11:00pm at night when some armed men came and took him to a car by force and said: “You are sold to commander Enayat.”
“I started crying when I heard this, but the armed men started beating me and took me to their vehicle.”
“We traveled for few hours and then reached a house where a large number of armed men were present. They took me to a room where three men were sitting, among them was one commander Enayat,” he said.
The boy said Enayat was busy drinking wine with some other people and forced him to drink as well.
“They gave me a lot of wine and I felt unconscious, when I came in senses in the morning, I was in the bed with Commander Enayat and was feeling pain, then I realized that I had been sexually assaulted,” he said.
According to Baryalai, he spent five months with Commander Enayat and during the period he was often dressed in women attire, forced to dance in public and often sexually attacked.
About wounds on his hands, Bryalai said: “When I would refuse to danc or drink wine, they would force me to drink and dance. They sometimes put cigar or hashish on my hands and would tell me to dance.”
One Commander Enayat took him to his house and told women in the house not to let him go outside.
“I pleaded with the women to permit me to go to the road and I would be back soon, when I reached the road, I signaled a coming car which stopped.”
“I sit in the car and the driver asked me some questions, then he took me to Khwaja Bahauddin district,” the boy said.
The driver then handed him over to a local commander named Hakim who handed him over to Fridon, another man.
Baryalai said Fridon did not sexually assault him but forced him to wear girl dresses and dance. He spent some time with Fridon who was later arrested by Afghan forces in a raid.
Baryalai currently lives with other children in a children’s training center in Taloqan, the provincial capital.
Baryali case is human trafficking: Ministry of Justice
Hashmatullah Hasham, Takhar justice director, who also heads the provincial committee of Commission on Combating Human and Migrant Trafficking (CCHMT), told Pajhwok that they had registered 16 human trafficking cases in Takhar this solar year.
He said one of the cases was of Baryalai whose abusers must be arrested and taken to justice.
“We have launched many awareness programs for prevention of human trafficking in Takhar, but such cases are perpetrated by powerful figures and commanders,” he said.
Takhar police unaware about the case
Provincial deputy police chief, Col. Nizamuddin Ghori, told Pajhwok that Baryalai’s family had not formally shared his case with them. He said police would investigate the issue and arrest those involved.
On the other hand, Takhar attorney office has sent a letter from to the provincial police headquarters two weeks ago, asking police to arrest commander Hakim and Fridon immediately. A copy of the letter is obtained by Pajhwok.
Independent Human Rights Commission officials for the northern region said that Baryalai had endured various harassments and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
Bismillah Waziri, the commission’s child section head, said, “Baryalai was addicted to drugs, sexually assaulted and forced to dance. He suffered many types of oppressions which is a matter of serious concern.”
He said those involved in the case had relations with government officials in capital Kabul and provinces.
Quran prohibits such crimes: Islamic scholar
Mualvi Mahbobullah Hanif, a teacher at Central Darululum of Takhar, said that sodomy, adultery and similar acts were prohibited in Islam and were major sins. He said those involved in such acts should be punished underm Shria law.
The Article Third of the relevant law says recruiting (bringing under control) someone, transferring, threatening or using force against someone for benefit, kidnapping and deceiving are types of human trafficking in person.
Article 10 of the law says that if the victim of human trafficking is a child or woman, the perpetrator should be awarded eight years of jail.
A large number of children face the fate of Baryalai and those involved in such cases happen to be powerful figures in northern zone of Afghanistan.