Photo: Reuters

Richard Bennet calls on the Taliban to end arbitrary detentions

UN Special Rapporteur Richard Bennet welcomed the release of university lecturer Ismail Mashal from Taliban custody, and called on the group to release all others who are still arbitrarily detained without due process.

“Pleased to learn of Prof. #IsmailMashaal ‘s release and reunification with his family. I continue calling for the unconditional release of others in #Afghanistan who remain arbitrarily detained without #dueprocess,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.

The Taliban has routinely detained and tortured former members of the Afghan military and government, academics and human rights activists.

Amnesty International reports that the Taliban has recently arrested several individuals, including Narges Sadat, Ismail Mashal, Fardin Fedayee, Zekria Asoli, Mortaza Behboudi, Qais Khan Wakili, and Mohammad Yar Majroh, for reasons that remain unclear.

Only Majroh and Mashal have been released so far, leaving the fate of the remaining detainees unknown.

Rawadari, an Afghan human rights organizations, reported in January that the Taliban had arbitrarily arrested at least 1976 people across Afghanistan between 15 August 2021 and 15 November 2022.