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Assef is a sociopath who worships Hitler. As a child, he is the neighborhood bully who rapes Hassan. As an adult, he is a Taliban official who delights in killing people. He keeps Sohrab as a sex slave until Amir comes to rescue him. After he beats Amir nearly to death, Assef loses an eye to Sohrab's slingshot. It is possible that Hosseini based the character of Assef on the reclusive one-eyed Taliban leader, Mullah Omar.