‘We heard them screaming’: US troops told to ignore Afghan soldiers abusing boys – report

 © Ahmad Masood
US troops stationed in Afghanistan came to the realization that some Afghan commanders were sexually abusing local boys and though they often heard the boys screaming, the US Army told them to ignore it, a New York Times report says.

“At night we can hear them [Afghan boys]  screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” Lance Corporal Gregory Buckley Jr. reportedly told his father Gregory Buckley Sr before being killed in 2012.

Buckley Sr said he told his son to tell his commanders about these incidents.  “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture,” he told NYT.

What Buckley Jr described to his father resembles Bacha bazi, an illegal practice that involves sexual abuse of prepubescent and adolescent boys.

© Mohammad Ismail

READ MORE: National Guardsman indicted for allegedly producing child pornography

One more US officer, a former lance corporal recalled a terrible incident when he entered a room in a base and saw three or four men lying with children between them.

“I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he told NYT on condition of anonymity.

Another witness of similar practices was Dan Quinn, a former special forces captain. He witnessed several cases of Afghan militia abusing local children, boys and girls.

“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights…But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me,” he said.

READ MORE: US troops, contractors sexually abused Colombian girls with impunity – report

Quinn’s story goes back to 2011 when he and Sergeant Charles Martland started receiving complaints about Afghan local police units who US soldiers were training.

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