Executives at Frontline have postponed
the premiere of The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan due to concerns over
safety of one of the boys featured in the film.
The documentary details the ancient Afghan custom of
"Bacha Bereesh," which literally means "beardless boys,"
who are trained to dance and sing for male audiences. The boys are sold to
wealthy patrons and former warlords who keep them as concubines. Islamic
clerics are outraged by the practice, and have ordered the
authorities to crack down.
Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi infiltrated a sexual
exploitation ring in Northern Afghanistan,
talking with several boys and their "masters" and also documenting
how the Afghan authorities responsible for protecting the boys are often
complicit in their continued enslavement.
The Frontline investigation was set to debut Jan.
19 on PBS stations. A repeat of A Death in Tehran will air instead.