Taliban arrest popular Afghan professor critical of government

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Taliban have arrested a popular university professor and vocal critic of successive Afghan governments, including …

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The Taliban have arrested a popular university professor and vocal critic of successive Afghan governments, including new leaders in Kabul, the group’s spokesperson said on Sunday.

Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that Professor Faizuallah Jalal is being held by Taliban intelligence. The group accused the professor of “absurd comments on social media, which provoked people against the government and played with people’s dignity.”

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 previously held power from 1996 to 2001.

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

Afghanistan faces 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 human rights activist was sure to complicate humanitarian aid efforts.

It also heightened fears that the Taliban would impose the same harsh, repressive regime they last took power before being ousted by a US-led coalition for harboring the al-Qaida leader. , Osama bin Laden.

TOLO TV, the largest Afghan channel on which Faizuallah Jalal was a frequent commentator, tweeted that Jalal had been arrested “apparently for making allegations against government departments, a security source said.”

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

Jalal is the husband of one of the country’s first presidential candidates, Masooda Jalal, who ran against former President Hamid Karzai in 2004.

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