Houses rented to kidnappers, Daesh militants ‘will be seized’

Qudratullah Abu Hamza, Balkh’s governor, warned home owners Monday that houses rented to kidnappers and Daesh militants will be confiscated.

Hamza called on residents of the northern province to support the IEA security forces and to not allow such elements to settle in residential areas.

He said should home owners ignore this warning, the IEA will identify houses rented by kidnappers and militants and seize the properties and prosecute the owners.

“The houses that were given to the kidnappers will not be returned to their owners. The houses that were given to Daesh will be seized and the owner of the house, and people in charge of the area will be introduced to the attorney general.

“If they provide houses to kidnappers, or Daesh, the owners will be dealt the same punishment as the kidnappers and Daesh,” said Hamza.

The decision has been met with mixed reaction by civil society activists in Balkh.

“Crime is an individual act by the suspect or accused person. If they are caught and identified, after an investigation, they can be introduced to judicial institutions,” said one activist.

While Balkh is a fairly secure province, a number of kidnappings have been reported in the province over the past few years.

The most high-profile case of them all was that involving

Abdul Rauf, who was nine years old at the time of his abduction.

He was rescued and reunited with his family in April – two years after being kidnapped.