Target: Chief of Staff of the United States Army General Mark A. Milley
Goal: Allow Sergeant to keep his job after attempting to stop the sexual abuse and slavery of a young boy by an Afghani commander.
Two military men used physical force to stop an Afghan police commander from repeatedly sexually abusing a young boy and stalking his house and family. Sergeant Charles Martland and Army Captain Dan Quinn were relived of their duties shortly afterwards, and Martland is now being forcefully removed from the army. This abuse is commonly known as bacha bazi, or “boy play,” in which it is a sign of power and competition among Afghan officials to have a young boy as a sex slave.
Many of the authoritarian figures that carry out this child abuse are allied with American-led forces, which makes it very difficult for U.S. soldiers to stop this continuing, socially accepted pedophilia. Sergeant Martland and his captain felt they had no other options for stopping this ongoing sexual abuse than resorting to physical force, pushing the officer to the ground multiple times and letting him know that there would be further consequences if he ever approached the child or his mother again.
The New York Times reported that U.S. soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene in the abuse of young Afghan boys by American allies, even in cases where the abuse took place on American military bases. These men were acting against abuse and injustice in the only way they felt safe doing, and now a sergeant is being forced from the army because of their efforts to stop child rape. Allow American forces in Afghanistan to stand up to child sexual slavery and protect Sergeant Martland’s position in the United States Armed Forces.
Dear Chief of Staff Mark Milley,
Recently, Army Captain Dan Quinn and his Sergeant Charles Martland came in contact with an American-allied Afghan commander who was attempting to abuse a young boy. Because they were instructed not to intervene with these commanders, the only way they felt capable of stopping this abuse was by physically pushing the commander to the ground and verbally threatening him with violence if he ever approached the child or his mother again.
Quinn has since voluntarily left the army, but Charles Martland is being forced from his position because of the intervention. Sexual abuse of any kind cannot be accepted by our armed forces, no matter what the cultural expectations or practices are. Allow United States soldiers to intervene in sexual and physical assault and allow Sergeant Charles Martland to keep his position in the United States Army.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Trish Harris