Afghanistan's attorney general has ordered the arrest of nine employees of Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum in connection with allegations of kidnapping and torturing one of Dostum's political rivals.
Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek militia commander in northern Afghanistan, has denied the allegations.
But the spokesman for the attorney general, Jamshid Rasouli, said on January 24 that arrests were ordered after Dostum’s employees failed to present themselves for questioning in an investigation.
The majority of the nine employees are Dostum's personal guards.
Dostum faces allegations of ordering his men to detain Ahmad Ischi, a former political ally from Dostum’s Junbesh-i Milli-Yi Islami party.
Ischi says he was kidnapped on November 25 by Dostum’s men in the vice president's native Jowzjan Province.
He says he was assaulted by Dostum himself, and then taken to one of Dostum's properties where Dostum's men severely beat him, sexually assaulted him with a Kalashnikov rifle, and threatened him for several days while he was held against his will.
Dostum's chief of staff, Enayatullah Babur Farhamand, told RFE/RL that Ischi "was under investigation for providing support to militants."
But Ischi's family alleged that he was beaten and kidnapped over a personal feud between the two former allies.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP