After a mid-November report by civil society activists claimed that hundreds of boys had been sexually abused in Logar, the education department replaced Abdul Wakil Kaliwal with Nisar Ahmad Saeedi.
But according to members of the civil society, Saeedi’s appointment was not supported by some members of the education department and provincial council.
“The individual who was appointed for the post has a case in Kandahar province, he has social problems, so when someone has a problem, we cannot accept him to represent the people,” said Haseebullah Stanekzai, head of the Logar provincial council.
“I was appointed as acting head of the department for the sake of the future of the students,” said Nisar Ahmad Saeedi, the newly appointed head of the Logar Education department.
Former department head Kaliwal has been appointed a new post.
Meanwhile, Pierre Mayaudon, ambassador and head of the European Union delegation in Afghanistan, once again urged the Afghan government to take serious steps to investigate the sexual abuse of children in the province.
In mid-November research by Logar’s civil society, amplified by a report by the UK’s The Guardian as well as other news agencies, brought public attention to “hundreds” of sexually abused children and youth in six provincial schools where the study was done. The report has faced mixed reactions publicly and among Afghan officials.
The two activists who made the report public, Musa Mahmoudi and Ehsanullah Hamidi, were detained by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), which apparently forced the two men to make confessions about exaggerating the report claims. The NDS’ handling of the activists has sparked criticism from international organizations and foreign embassies in Kabul. These same organizations and embassies also called for the protection of the children who had alleged the abuse, and for further investigations.
The two men were later turned over to the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission by the NDS, but new concerns were voiced because neither Mahmoudi nor Hamidi have been heard from since.
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, however, has said that the activists are not “restricted.”
“The Independent Human Rights Commission monitored the release of Mr. Mahmoudi and there are no restrictions on his movement, and he is free,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy head of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.