Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has demanded authorities in Afghanistan immediately release two local human rights defenders who exposed an alleged pedophile ring involved in the abuse of hundreds of school children.
“Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission is deeply concerned about the illegal detention of civil society activists Mr. Musa Mahmudi and Ehsanullah Hamidi, who were investigating the cases of alleged child sexual abuse in Logar province,” AIHRC said in a tweet.
AIHRC has considered the detention of the activists by the NDS in clear contradiction of national laws and human rights standards, and called on the authorities concerned to release the two activists as soon as possible, and ensure their safety and security.
The former President Hamid Karzai has also called for the immediate release of the human rights defenders, “if the NDS arrested them.
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Mahmoudi and Hamidi began receiving threats, including from local officials in Logar, on social media after they gave interviews to domestic and foreign media about the existence of the pedophile ring in the area, according to relatives.
The activists were part of a civil society investigation that uncovered more than 100 videos of the alleged abuse, asserting that some victims were murdered. The probe alleged that the ring included school teachers, headwaters and provincial officials.
Local officials and some Afghan lawmakers have rejected and denounced the allegations as propaganda.