Afghanistan orders arrest of 9 Dostum guards in abuse case


KABUL -- Afghanistan's attorney general has ordered the arrest of nine bodyguards of Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum in connection with charges of sexually abusing and torturing a Dostum political rival, an official said Tuesday (January 24).

Dostum, a former warlord, has been accused of abducting Ahmad Ishchi , a former governor of Jawzjan Province, in November during a traditional game of buzkashi, or polo using an animal carcass.

Dostum allegedly kept Ishchi hostage in his private compound for five days, where he was said to have endured torture and sodomy.

"The investigating team has issued an arrest warrant against nine of Mr. Dostum's bodyguards who were involved in the case," Jamshid Rasuli, spokesman for the attorney general's office, told AFP.

"The team has also asked Mr. Dostum to either respond to the queries himself or through his legal channels. But he has not responded yet," he said.

Dostum was not immediately available for comment but has previously denied the allegations, proposing to resolve the matter by the traditional mediation of tribal elders rather than through conventional courts.

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