American Arrested in Afghanistan on Suspicion of Homosexuality, Soliciting,
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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