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PAN, September 5, 2018

Canada wants Afghan ambassador’s son arrested in rape case

Nader Yama kept the case secret for five months and had hired a lawyer, the source added

Mehdi Arash Yama, son of Nader Yama, the Afghanistan charge de affairs in Canada, allegedly raped a Canadian girl
Mehdi Arash Yama, son of Nader Yama, the Afghanistan charge de affairs in Canada, allegedly raped a Canadian girl in late February, 2018. He was expelled from school following the incident and is under investigation by the Canadian police. (Photo: PAN)

Canada has formally asked the Afghan government to allow the arrest of a son of the Afghanistan acting ambassador to that country for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl.

A credible source told Pajhwok Afghan News that Mehdi Arash Yama, son of Nader Yama, the Afghanistan charge de affairs in Canada, allegedly raped the Canadian girl in late February, 2018.

Arash Yama was above 18 years of age when he was expelled from school after the case. Nader Yama kept the case secret for five months and had hired a lawyer, the source added.

“After Nader Yama refused to hand his son over to the Canadian government for investigation hiding behind diplomatic immunity, the Canadian government in protest shared the issue with the Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and gave the Afghan government a deadline to either submit the offender or they would act directly and end the diplomatic impunity,” the official said.

Another official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who also wished to go unnamed, said Arash Yama’s case had reached the ministry.

“The son of Nader Yama is accused of raping a 16 years old girl in his father’s vehicle with diplomatic number plate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a letter about the case from the Canadian government on July 25, 2018,” the source said.

In the letter, the Canadian government has requested an end to the diplomatic impunity enjoyed by the family member of the Afghanistan Charge de Affairs, Nader Yama, and his son be submitted to police for investigation, the source added.

The official said the ministry wanted to extend legal support to Nader Yama, but he had already hired a lawyer for the case. He said the son of Nader Yama has surrendered to police and he is currently under investigation.

Pajhwok Afghan News also obtained a copy of the letter the Canadian police had sent to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The letter (XDC-9298) was sent to the foreign ministry on June 20. The letter requests the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit Arash Yama for police investigation.

On June 27, Ottawa police sent a second email to the Afghanistan Embassy in Canada and said they did not receive a response to the letter (XDC-9298).

The email said Arash Yama’s lawyer had talked to police investigators about the case but police wanted Arash Yama to be present in the investigation and the Afghan Embassy should cooperate in the matter.

But Sibghatullah Ahmadi, foreign ministry spokesman, told Pajhwok that the issue had not yet been shared with the ministry.

“If such a case is happened, it is personal, it does not relate to our diplomat, but his son should be responsible,” he said.

Pajhwok tried to contact Nader Yama and Canadian police for details, but neither side responded.

The Afghanistan law on Combating Human and Migrant Trafficking considers sexual assault as one of serious human trafficking issues and recommends up to more than 12 years in jail punishment for the offender.

The Afghanistan penalty code article 429 says if the victim of a sexual assault is aged less than 18 years, the perpetrator is sentenced to 10 years in jail.

According to 271st article of the Canadian penal code, if the victim is immature, the perpetrator is sentenced to two to four years in jail, but if the victim is physically harmed, then the punishment is extended.

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