A US war hero is waiting to hear whether he will be allowed to continue serving his country after he threw a child abuser off a US military base in Afghanistan.

Sgt First Class Charles Martland, a Green Beret with an 11-year Special Forces career, was stationed in Afghanistan in 2011 when a boy’s mother came to him and said she’d been beaten and her son raped by a local police commander.

Martland and another soldier summoned the police oficial and, when the man laughed at them, saying, “He’s only a child”, they threw him off the base. But red tape meant that Martland and colleague Daniel Quinn were both disciplined for their actions.

Young boys in Afghanistan can face rampant and horrific sexual abuse. The boys are dressed up as women and forced to dance for older men. They are sold as sex slaves and raped multiple times a day. It’s called “bacha bazi” – which means “boy play.”

Sergeant Martland said, “We felt a moral obligation to act.”

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is campaigning for Sergeant Martland and gathering support across the US. It welcomed an extension of his case until 1 May.

The ACLJ said: “The US gives Afghanistan more foreign aid than any other nation, yet we are silent in the face of child persecution and torture. It’s abominable.”

There are two important petitions on the ACLJ website regarding these issues.Go to the ACLJ website (http://aclj.org/) to sign them and read more on this subject (see the bottom of the home page on that website.)

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