| CNN: Afghan infants fed pure opium |
Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan (CNN) -- In a far flung corner of northern Afghanistan, Aziza reaches into the dark wooden cupboard, rummages around, and pulls out a small lump of something wrapped in plastic.
She unwraps it, breaking off a small chunk as if it were chocolate, and feeds it to four-year-old son, Omaidullah. It's his breakfast -- a lump of pure opium.
"If I don't give him opium he doesn't sleep," she says. "And he doesn't let me work."
Aziza comes from a poor family of carpet weavers in Balkh province. She has no education, no idea of the health risks involved or that opium is addictive.
"We give the children opium whenever they get sick as well," she says, crouching over her loom. More here
| Paedophilia ‘culturally accepted in south Afghanistan’ H/T: Vlad |
Older, powerful men boosted their social status by keeping boys as sexual playthings and the practice was celebrated in song and dance, a military study claimed.
British officers in Helmand requested the study to help them understand the sexual behaviour of locals and Afghan comrades after young soldiers became uneasy they were being propositioned.
American social scientists employed to help troops understand the local culture reported that homosexual sex was widespread among the Pashtun ethnic group in southern Afghanistan.
Strict separation of men and women, coupled with poverty and the significant expense of getting married, contributed to young men turning to each other for sexual companionship.
“To dismiss the existence of this dynamic out of desire to avoid western discomfort is to risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture,” the report said.
The study, called ‘Pashtun Sexuality’, said that as well as willing sex between young men, “boys are appreciated for physical beauty and apprenticed to older men for their sexual initiation”.
The practice of ‘bache bazi’ or boy play, is known throughout Afghanistan, but is particularly renowned in the city of Kandahar next to Helmand, where prepubescent boys are widely admired.
Western soldiers often report feeling unease at the attentions of their Afghan comrades, who are affectionate with each other and sometimes wear make-up. More here