By Sayed Arif Musavi
A group of civil society activists in northern Balkh province on Monday demanded severe punishment for those alleged to have sexually abused and killed a three-year-old boy named Yunus in Kabul last week.
The activists issued a resolution that urged the country's law enforcement and courts to take action and severely punish the perpetrators of the heinous act, who have yet to be identified.
"Balkh civil society activists have raised their voice to ask Afghanistan's judicial system to act seriously regarding the sexual abuse of the underage boy," civil society activist Malika told TOLOnews.
The head of the northern branch of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), Sayid Mohammad Sami, called the rape of Yunus an inhuman act. "Unfortunately, such occurrences are the result of the fact that rule of law is fading away in our society," Sami said.
"Such a situation means that any brutal human and those who are against the law in every hook and nook of the country commit illegal acts and then there is no one to arrest them and send them behind bars," he added.
The extent of concern about whether or not justice will be served in Yunus' case was made readily apparent by the Balkh activists on Monday. One, named Malalai Usmani, went so far as to suggest the local community take their own action and not risk leaving it in the hands of law enforcement and the judiciary.
"We were against kangaroo courts in the past, but now I want to say that the local residents should arrest the perpetrators who raped the child and punish them before they reach the police and courts," Usmani told TOLOnews.
The crime against Yunus has sparked anxieties among families around the country as many lack faith that the government will or even can protect them from such evils.
Nadim Paikan, a seven-year-old boy in Balkh, described his shock at the news of Yunus' rape and murder, which he called unforgivable. "I was at home when I heard the bad news - they killed Yunus," he said. "They should be punished severely. How did they do this? How did they rape and then kill a three-year-old child?"