Kabul: Professor arrested for criticising Taliban regime
The Taliban have arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul, the group’s spokesman said on Sunday.
Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that professor Faizuallah Jalal was being held by the Taliban’s intelligence arm. The group accused the professor of “nonsense remarks on social media, which were provoking people against the government and playing with people’s dignity”.
In a tweet early Sunday, Jalal’s daughter Hasina pleaded for her father’s release. “As I confirm the disturbing news. I ask for the immediate release of my father Professor Faizuallah Jalal,” she tweeted.
The arrest of a prominent rights activist is certain to complicate humanitarian aid efforts. It also reinforced fears that the Taliban are imposing the same repressive rule as their last stint in power.
TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s largest station on which Jalal was a frequent commentator, tweeted that the professor was arrested “reportedly for making allegations against government departments, a security source said”.
There was no official response from the government to queries about Jalal’s arrest. Jalal is the husband of one of the country’s first female presidential candidates, Masooda Jalal, who ran against former President Hamid Karzai in 2004.