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Afghanistan's dark secret: The 'dancing boys' who are little more than sex slaves for their 'shameful' owners


His eyes sparkling, hands on his hips, smiling as he dances, you might never guess the truth behind the young boy who twists and turns in an Afghan living room.

But he is part of one of the country's darkest secrets.

Despite its strong religious core, Afghanistan's history of Bacha bazi is, according to some experts, deeply disturbing.

According to film makers, many of the boys are stolen away from their struggling families to become bacha bereesh, with the promise of riches on offer.

They are then made to dance at parties while wearing make-up and dresses to entertain the male hosts, performing to the sound of traditional Afghan music.

In one of the many songs a musician sings: 'He's touching the boy with his cotton clothes.

'Where do you live, so I can get to know your father.

'Oh boy, you have set your lover on fire.'

But, after the 'party', the boys are then passed around and, according to some reports, taken away to be sexually abused.

Photographer Barat Ali Batoor, told the MailOnline: "They live as though they are in a relationship with their masters, so their masters keep them, house them and buy them food and things.

"They have sex with their masters and then at the parties they are abused by different people."

Dr Soraya Sobhrang, who led an investigation into the practice for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, called it 'shameful'.

She explained to Mirror Online: "When the boys are beautiful it shows they are powerful, but also the number.

"You have to spend a lot of money to pay the boys, feed the boys, keep them clothed. It shows your wealth."

In a video for In The Now, one man, who appears to trade in the boys, says: "A boy, or bacha, should be 12, 13 or 15, people like these ages, under 12, they're kids, people don't like them.

"From the age of 13 we support them until they're 20 to 25 years old."

But the short film goes on to explain how many of the boys are ghosted away from playgrounds where traders look for the poorest and prettiest lads.

Incredibly, one of the male guests is later interviewed at one of the 'parties' where the interviewer asks: "Why don't the police catch you?"

And the man responds: "It's not that easy for state organisations to catch us.

"We're all men here so it's impossible to guess anyone's a rent boy."



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Muslim Global: Afghanistan's dark secret: The 'dancing boys' who are little more than sex slaves for their 'shameful' owners
Afghanistan's dark secret: The 'dancing boys' who are little more than sex slaves for their 'shameful' owners
Muslim Global
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