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Polce arrest 46 suspected foreign prostitutes in Kabul

Afghan police has arrested 46 foreign women accused of involvement in prostitution and selling alcohol in Kabul.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 13:27 IST
Reuters
Reuters
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Afghan police has arrested 46 foreign women accused of involvement in prostitution and selling alcohol in Kabul, an Interior Ministry official said on Thursday.

Afghanistan has seen huge changes since the days of radical Taliban rule when women were largely confined to their homes and music was banned, but it remains a deeply conservative Muslim country.

Afghan Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol and prostitution is a crime.

"These 46 foreign women in so-called restaurants and guest houses were committing prostitution, acted as call girls and sold alcohol to foreigners and Afghans," Abdul Jabar Sabit, a legal adviser at the Interior Ministry, told the agency.

Several thousand foreigners live in Kabul and restaurants and bars have sprung up to cater for them since US-led forces ousted the Taliban regime in late 2001.

But it is common knowledge that at least some of the new establishments also offer sex.

Members of Afghanistan's new parliament, which includes several prominent Islamists, say they will soon grill the government on the spread of prostitution.

Sabit rejected any suggestion this week's crackdown was linked to the expected debate in parliament.

He declined to say where the women were from but said a foreign criminal network had been organising them. He did not elaborate.

Another ministry official, who declined to be identified, said the women were from China.

The women were detained in different raids over recent days in two upmarket Kabul neighbourhoods where many aid agencies and embassies are located, Sabit said.

The women would not be prosecuted but would be deported. They were being looked after by the International Organisation Mission prior to their deportation, he said.

Last year, authorities arrested and expelled more than a dozen Chinese women accused of involvement in the sex trade in Kabul.

Sabit said there had been some cases of Afghan women being prosecuted by the courts and imprisoned for prostitution but no Afghan women were involved in the latest cases.

None of the Afghan women were punished under Islamic laws. During Taliban rule, adulterers and prostitutes were publicly lashed or stoned to death.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 13:27 IST