US embassy cables: Afghan government asks US to quash 'dancing boys' scandal 2 December 2010 11:37
Wednesday, 24 June 2009,
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL....
In a May 2009 meeting interior minister Hanif Atmar expresses deep concerns that if lives could be in danger if news leaked that foreign police trainers working for US commercial contractor DynCorp hired "dancing boys" to perform for them....
Atmar said he insisted the journalist be told that publication would endanger lives. His request was that the U.S. quash the article and release of the video. Amb Mussomeli responded that going to the journalist would give her the sense that there is a more terrible story to report. Atmar then disclosed the arrest of two Afghan National Police (ANP) and nine other Afghans (including RTC language assistants) as part of an MoI investigation into Afghan "facilitators" of the event.
The crime he was pursuing was "purchasing a service from a child," which in Afghanistan is illegal under both Sharia law and the civil code, and against the ANP Code of Conduct for police officers who might be involved. He said he would use the civil code and that, in this case, the institution of the ANP will be protected, but he worried about the image of foreign mentors. Atmar said that President Karzai had told him that his (Atmar's) "prestige" was in play in management of the Kunduz DynCorp matter and another recent event in which Blackwater contractors mistakenly killed several Afghan citizens. The President had asked him "Where is the justice?"
Foreign contractors hired Afghan 'dancing boys', WikiLeaks cable reveals - Episode fuelled Afghan demands that private security firms be brought much more under government control
Jon Boone guardian.co.uk, Thursday 2 December 2010
A scandal involving foreign contractors employed to train Afghan policemen who took drugs and paid for young "dancing boys" to entertain them in northern Afghanistan caused such panic that the interior minister begged the US embassy to try and "quash" the story, according to one of the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.
In a meeting with the assistant US ambassador, a panicked Hanif Atmar, the interior minister at the time of the episode last June, warned that the story would "endanger lives" and was particularly concerned that a video of the incident might be made public.