Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum is being accused of sodomy and torture by a political rival, The New York Times reports.
Dostum is a famous Afghan warlord, who fought on behalf of the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in 2001. He is notoriously accused of shooting and suffocating scores of Taliban prisoners in metal shipping containers in December 2001. Despite serving as the vice president of a major U.S. aid recipient, he is barred from entering America.
Dostum’s political rival, Ahmad Ishchi, told TheNYT Dostum stepped on his throat after his men beat him bloody.
“I can kill you right now, and no one will ask,” Dostum reportedly told him. “If he has animosity with me, I would have no problem if he had killed me with a bullet,” Ischchi lamented.
The entire fracas began during a horse match in front of nearly 2,000 people. One team was owned by Dostum, and the other by Ischi. After Dostum’s team lost Dostum began beating the man in front of the entire crowd. Eventually Dostum and his mean tied Ischi’s hands and threw him in the back of a truck. When he reached Dostum’s private residence he claims he was further beaten, and repeatedly sodomized with the barrel of an assault rifle.
Dostum commands hundreds of ethnically Uzbek fighters, who he has threatened to use against the government if he does not get his way. “I don’t need a coup d’état or anything. But if the day comes, I will gather my people, I will unburden my heart to them,” he told reporters in October. Dostum has a history of turning on government’s he is a part of.
He abandoned the Afghan government in the early 1990s, which triggered an all-out civil war. The Taliban came to power amid the chaos, and controlled the country until the U.S. invasion in 2001.
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