Afghan official accuses Vice-President Dostum of sexual abuse

Kabul, Dec 14 (IANS) A senior Afghan official has accused Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum of kidnapping and sexually molesting him late last month.

Ahmad Eshchi, the former governor of General Dostum’s home province of Jowzjan, said the Vice-President and 10 other men assaulted him after forcibly keeping him at the former warlord’s residence for five days, Tolo news reported on Wednesday.

Dostum has denied the accusation, describing it as a “provocation”, and said Eshchi was detained not by him, but by the country’s intelligence service.

The Afghan government has assured an independent and impartial probe into the matter.

The Presidential Palace said in a statement that the government was committed to protecting the lives and security of citizens.

Eshchi also said that he spent a further 11 days in the custody of the National Directorate of Security and was released on Saturday.

In a separate development, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomed “the government’s commitment to probe the alleged human rights violations” against the former governor.

“UNAMA is concerned about these allegations, stresses the importance of due process and accountability, and remains committed to working with the government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to strengthen respect for human rights,” the UN mission said.