KABUL -- A court in Kabul has sentenced seven bodyguards of First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum for the sexual assault and kidnapping of one of his political rivals, officials said Monday (November 6).
Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek warlord linked to multiple human rights abuses in Afghanistan, fled to Turkey in May after he was accused of raping and torturing Ahmad Eshchi, a former governor of northern Jawzjan Province, in 2016.
He allegedly abducted Eshchi in Jawzjan and kept him hostage in his private compound for several days, where the captive reportedly suffered torture and sodomy.
Seven of Dostum's bodyguards were convicted in absentia last week. They were not present for the sentencing and are now in Jawzjan, Eshchi told AFP.
"Every one of the bodyguards will serve a five-year prison sentence. They have not been detained yet -- they will be arrested soon," a Supreme Court official who requested anonymity told AFP.
Dostum has denied the accusations and has not been prosecuted.