Last edited: February 14, 2005

American Arrested in Afghanistan on Suspicion of Homosexuality, Soliciting, Officials Say

PakTribune, September 1, 2004

KABUL—An American adviser to the Afghan government has been arrested in the capital for allegedly having homosexual relations with an Afghan man, officials said Tuesday.

The man was arrested late last week after an Afghan detained by police told investigators the American had paid him for sexual relations at a Kabul hotel, the officials said.

Afghan officials say homosexuality remains a crime, even though it no longer brings the brutal punishment handed out under the Taliban before its ouster in 2001.

Under its harsh interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law, homosexuals were crushed to death by having walls toppled on them, although Afghans say closet gay relationships remained widespread.

“Islam doesn’t allow homosexuality,” said Abdul Halim Samadi, a prosecutor dealing with the current case in Kabul. “Prostitution is also punishable in Afghanistan under Islamic law.”

Samadi said the American could get a jail term of 5-15 years if convicted.

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said she was unaware of the arrest and declined further comment.

The head of the criminal department for Kabul City Police, Jamil, said the American was an adviser to the Finance Ministry. He declined to disclose his name.

Police had trailed the 18-year-old Afghan “coming and going from the American’s room” in an upscale hotel in Kabul, said Jamil, who goes by one name.

Samadi said the Afghan man told investigators the American paid him up to US$50 (euro 40) per visit and helped him get a job at a relief organization.

He said the attorney-general’s office was awaiting the results of medical tests on the Afghan man before deciding on any charges.

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