Western allies call for probe into Dostum torture allegations


KABUL -- Allegations that Afghanistan's first vice president and his guards assaulted a political rival while holding him captive in his private compound prompted calls Tuesday (December 13) from the country's Western allies for a government investigation.

Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former warlord, is accused of ordering his guards to seize Ahmad Ishchi (a former governor of Jawzjan Province) in November in northern Jawzjan province during a game of buzkashi, or polo with a carcass.

Dostum allegedly kept Ishchi hostage in his private enclave for five days, where he was said to be tortured and sexually assaulted.

"The unlawful detention and reported mistreatment of Mr Ishchi by the First Vice President raises serious concerns," the US Embassy in Kabul said in a statement.

"We would welcome the Afghan government's move to swiftly investigate these allegations," it read.

The European Union along with Australia and Canada also demanded a "fair and transparent investigation" into what it called "gross human rights violations and abuses against Ishchi".

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