News ID: 108206
Publish Date : 25 October 2022 - 20:44

Afghans Enraged Over U.S. Marine’s Abduction of Orphan

WASHINGTON (Middle East Eye) – Afghan activists in the U.S. have expressed outrage over an American marine’s abduction an Afghan war orphan after luring the baby’s legal guardians to the U.S. with the promise of providing medical treatment.
The girl, now three years old, lost her parents and five siblings in a classified U.S.-led military operation on 6 September 2019. She was seven months old at the time.
The child’s extended family is suing the U.S. marine and his wife in a federal court, saying that the girl was forcibly taken once she arrived in the U.S. in September 2021.
The complaint, filed on 2 September at the Virginia District Court, states that U.S. Marine Joshua Mast and his wife Stephanie Mast convinced the child’s legal guardians to bring her to the U.S. where they would assist with her injuries - a fractured skull and femur and second-degree burns - sustained during the operation.
Court documents say that as soon as her legal guardians arrived in the U.S., they met with a social worker who took the child from them.
“We call on the State Department, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Marine Corps to immediately investigate the methods that Joshua Mast used to kidnap this child and to intervene in the ongoing court case to bring forth justice and reunite her with her family,” Halema Wali, the co-founder of Afghans for a Better Tomorrow, told Middle East Eye.
“Afghans do not need white saviors who disguise human trafficking as humanitarianism in the name of Christianity,” Wali said.
The Masts reject the idea that they deceived the family and took the baby from them, saying in a response to the lawsuit that the Mast’s informed them of “Mast’s relationship and legal responsibility for the child,” Richard Mast wrote in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
“The sole legal identity created for Baby Doe saved not only her from the evils of life under the Taliban – it saved numerous others – including Plaintiffs John and Jane Doe. The fact that the Does are here in America today is a result of the countless hours invested by these Americans at no charge to the Does,” Richard Mast wrote in a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, he said.
On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan released a statement in which it called the case worrying, adding it was “far from human dignity and an inhumane act”.
The lawyer representing the Afghan family declined to comment about the case and the identity of the plaintiffs, citing safety as the reason for maintaining anonymity.
According to the filing, Joshua Mast, working through his attorney and brother Richard Mast, had already obtained a custody order for the baby despite the child having Afghan citizenship as well as legal guardians in her home country.