Afghanistan national intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), will hand over two civilian activists to Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). The activists were arrested by the NDS last week after they exposed a “paedophile ring involved in the abuse of at least 546 boys from six schools” in Logar province to The Guardian.
Speaking to Kabul Now, Zabihullah Farhang, a spokesperson for AIHRC, said that the two activists, Musa Mahmoodi and Ehsanullah Hamidi, will be released from NDS custody as the result of AIHRC’s advocacy campaigns and handed over to the commission. The NDS confirmed yesterday, November 26 that the activists were under its custody for their lives were under serious threats after issuance of Guardian report.
Citing Naeem Nazari, deputy chairperson of the AIHRC, the
Iran International reported today, November 27, that the AIHRC will release the
two activists after they are freed from custody of the NDS.
Upon its release, the news of children sodomy took social
media, mainly Facebook and Twitter, by storm and sparked huge criticisms among
ordinary people and Afghan politicians over the sexual abuse of children in
Under pressure of public, the Afghan ministry of education
said it had launched an urgent investigation on the case. Then, the acting
education minister, Mirwais Balkhi tweeted on November 17 that he had met
governor of Logar, the MPs, chairperson of Logar Provincial Council, and other
influential figures in the province to assess the accusations.
The revelation, on the other hand, was also followed by
outrage in the same province. In Pul-e-Alam, capital city of Logar, people
protested against the claims. Denying the allegations, the provincial governor,
Mohammad Anwar Ishaqzai described the finding as ‘inaccurate.’
“Some countries and networks are trying to destroy this
great and heroic nation,” MP Sayed Ahmad Khadem told Guardian.
Arrest and detention of activists was widely
Arrest of detention of the two activists were widely condemned
by national and international organizations. Both, the AIHRC and Amnesty
International called for immediate release of the activists. “AIHRC considers
detention of the activists by the NDS a clear violation of national law and
human rights standards,” the commission said.
Amnesty International also shared some messages sent by
Mussa Mahmoodi expressing fear that he might be killed. Mr. Mahmoodi asked for help.
He said in a message that the NDS was trying to arrest him and would accuse and
blame him for everything.
Expressing full support for AIHRC stance, US Ambassador to
Afghanistan John R. Bass also pronounced their detention as ‘totally
unacceptable.’ He added that it is appalling to coerce confessions from civil
society activists whose goal is to protect Afghan children.
President Ghani said on his twitter late on Tuesday,
November 26 that he was deeply disturbed by the report on sexual abuse in Logar
province. “When I was briefed today about the development on the case I
immediately instructed NDS to stop the proceedings,” part of his tweet reads,
adding that cases of such must be dealt and investigated by the attorney
general’s office and the AIHRC.
Reacting to Ghani’s tweet, Rahmatullah Nabil, a former NDS chief,
said that without instruction by the Afghan presidential palace, NDS will not
take such a decision by their own.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
also supported call for investigation by the AGO and urged immediate release of
the human right defenders from NDS detention center.