Taliban arrest popular Afghan teacher who criticizes government – News

A small group of women protested the detention of Faizuallah Jalal



By AP

Published: Sun, Jan 9, 2022, 4:51 PM

The Taliban have arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new leadership 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 branch. The group accused the professor of “absurd remarks on social media, which provoked people against the government and played with people’s dignity”.

In the capital of Kabul, a small group of women protested Jalal’s detention. They chanted, “Talking is not a crime, Prof. Jalal is not a criminal, we want Prof. Jalal released, Prof. Jalal’s voice is the voice of the people, Talking is not a crime. “

Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, with the United Nations warning that 90% of the country’s 38 million people are in need. The arrest of a prominent political activist was sure to complicate relief efforts.

It has also heightened fears that the Taliban will impose the same harsh and repressive rule as when they last came to power before being ousted by a US-led coalition for harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama. Ben Laden.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan last August before America’s chaotic departure on August 31 after nearly 20 years of war. Islamic militant guerrillas turned rulers were previously in power from 1996 to 2001.

In an early Sunday tweet, Jalal’s daughter Hasina Jalal pleaded for her father’s release. “As I confirm the disturbing news. I demand the immediate release of my father, Professor Faizuallah Jalal,” she tweeted.

TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s largest channel on which Jalal was a frequent commentator, tweeted that Jalal had been arrested “apparently for making allegations against government services, a security source said”.

There has been no official government response to questions about Jalal’s arrest.

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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.

In an interview in Kabul, Jalal’s niece Sudaba Adina cried as she begged for his release. She said he had lived in Afghanistan through successive regimes, including the former Taliban regime.

“He had the opportunity to go abroad, but he didn’t because he wanted to stay here and serve his society,” she said. “His sin is that he lives in Afghanistan, and he was a truthful man who had the courage to criticize the government, he had no other sin apart from his courage.”

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