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Afghan Vice President Dostum To Return To Kabul Amid Torture Claims


Abdul Rahid Dostum

Afghanistan's Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum is expected to return to Kabul on July 22 after leaving the country more than a year ago amid claims that he had ordered his men to abduct, beat, and rape a political rival.

Dostum, a powerful former warlord, will return to the Afghan capital later in the day, presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said.

Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek, had been undergoing medical treatment in Turkey but is now well and would resume work, the spokesman added.

Dostum left the country in 2017 after the attorney general's office opened an investigation into allegations that his followers had tortured and sexually abused a former ally turned political rival.

Dostum denied the allegations and said his departure was for medical checkups and family reasons.

It is not clear whether Dostum will face charges.

A deputy government spokesman told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan on July 21 that “legal matters will be pursued according to the law.”

Dostum is a controversial figure who has been accused of serious human rights violations, including the deaths of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001 in the custody of his militia forces.

With reporting by AP and AFP

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