3 Afghan Schools, 165 Accounts of Students Being Raped

A teacher at one school in Logar, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Hamid, said he had spoken to 13 boys who said they had been raped by teachers there. He said the families of three of those boys had moved away to avoid the social stigma of rape, especially after images were posted on Facebook.

“It’s a crisis,” Hamid said. “We want to do something to stop this mafia, but we don’t know what to do.”

Mr. Musa, of the advocacy group, said 25 families abandoned their homes in shame after their sons said they had been raped. In some cases, he said, the boys’ faces had been visible in images on the anonymous Facebook page before it was taken down.

In several cases, boys had been banished from home by their fathers, Mr. Musa said.

“We don’t trust anyone, neither the Taliban nor the government,” Mr. Musa said. One school is in an area contested by the Taliban, and two are in government-controlled areas. Wakil Kaliwal, the head of the education department in Logar, said there were perhaps one or two cases of student rape in the province’s schools but no epidemic of sexual assault. He said the principal at Hamid Karzai high school had been transferred for beating a boy but also had been accused of raping another boy.

Mr. Kaliwal added, referring to sexual assaults of boys: “It is an issue across the country and Logar isn’t exceptional.”

Mohammad Qasim Sediqqi, a member of the Logar provincial council, said there was no evidence of widespread rape in schools. “Maybe there are one or two cases, because this is Afghanistan and crime exists everywhere,” he said.

President Ashraf Ghani, who is from Logar, promised in 2015 to crack down on bacha bazi. But pederasty is still widely tolerated in Afghan culture, and prosecutions of men who sexually assault boys are rare.