A thirteen-year-old boy in Afghanistan's western Herat province has been imprisoned for a year after allegations that he had sex with two adult men, an action that's drawn extensive criticism from human rights groups.
Rights group Human Rights Watch released a statement on the boy's jailing on Saturday, urging the Afghan government not to prosecute minor victims of sexual assualt.
"When a man has sex with a 13-year-old child, the child is a victim of rape, not a criminal offender," said Human Rights Watch Asia Director Brad Adams in a statement.
"The Afghan government should never have victimized this boy a second time, but instead should have released him immediately with urgent protection and assistance."
AFP wrote that although Afghanistan bans "pederasty" (sexual relations between men and boys), the 13-year-old appears to have been prosecuted under "moral crimes" charges, which outlawsall sex prior to marriage.
Human Rights Watch has stated that the two men involved in the case were also arrested, but the nature of their charges remain unknown.