Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) expressed concern regarding a U.S. soldier has abducted a minor afghan girl, whose family had been killed in the bombardment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Islamic Emirate (IEA) is making effort to seek safe and early release of the baby girl.
According to the MoFA statement, the IEA has received information that a U.S. marine soldier Joshua Mast had abducted an Afghan baby girl in Virginia. He had been keeping her as his family member. The family members of this girl had been killed in the bombardment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The U.S. soldier had separated this girl from her relatives.
This comes after an Afghan parents accused the U.S. marine solider for adducting their baby girl.
The baby girl had been rescued two years earlier from the rubble of a U.S. military raid that killed her parents and five siblings. After months in a U.S. military hospital, she had gone to live with her cousin and his wife, this newlywed couple. Now, the family was bound for the United States for further medical treatment, with the aid of U.S. Marine Corps attorney Joshua Mast.
When the exhausted Afghans arrived at the airport in Washington, D.C., in late August 2021, Mast pulled them out of the international arrivals line and led them to an inspecting officer, according to a lawsuit they filed last month. They were surprised when Mast presented an Afghan passport for the child, the couple said. But it was the last name printed on the document that stopped them cold: Mast.
They didn’t know it, but they would soon lose their baby.
This is a story about how one U.S. Marine became fiercely determined to bring home an Afghan war orphan, and praised it as an act of Christian faith to save her. Letters, emails and documents submitted in federal filings show that he used his status in the U.S. Armed Forces, appealed to high-ranking Trump administration officials and turned to small-town courts to adopt the baby, unbeknownst to the Afghan couple raising her 11,000 km away.
The little girl, now 3.5 years old, is at the center of a high-stakes tangle of at least four court cases. The Afghan couple, desperate to get her back, has sued Mast and his wife, Stephanie Mast. But the Masts insist they are her legal parents and “acted admirably” to protect her. They’ve asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
The ordeal has drawn in the U.S. departments of Defense, Justice and State, which have argued that the attempt to spirit away a citizen of another country could significantly harm military and foreign relations. It has also meant that a child who survived a violent raid, was hospitalized for months and escaped the fall of Afghanistan has had to split her short life between two families, both of which now claim her.
Five days after the Afghans arrived in the U.S., they say Mast — custody papers in hand — took her away.
The Afghan woman collapsed onto the floor and pleaded with the Marine to give her baby back. Her husband said Mast had called him “brother” for months; so he begged him to act like one, with compassion. Instead, the Afghan family claims in court papers, Mast shoved the man and stomped his foot.
That was more than a year ago. The Afghan couple hasn’t seen her since.
“After they took her, our tears never stop,” the woman told The Associated Press. “Right now, we are just dead bodies. Our hearts are broken. We have no plans for a future without her. Food has no taste and sleep gives us no rest.” Expressing concern over the matter, the Afghanistan foreign ministry said that the issue would be taken up with the U.S. officials to ensure that the girl was returned to her family.
“The U.S. and its allies have taken thousands of Afghan people out of Afghanistan. They have been kept in various camps without a clear future,” MoFA said, calling on the respective countries to provide human and legal rights to the Afghan refugees as per the international laws.