Taliban restrictions on women not sharia

US Special Envoy condemns Taliban’s arrests of activists

The U.S. Special Envoy for human and women’s rights in Afghanistan, Rina Amiri, has criticised the Taliban’s recent arrests of education activists and human rights defenders.

In a tweet on Tuesday, she stated that “stifling the voices of champions reflecting the will of the population has not worked elsewhere and will not succeed in Afghanistan.” 

“Have received multiple reports of Taliban arresting & detaining Afghan women and men, like Rasoul Parsi, standing up for girls’ access to education,” she added.

The Taliban has arrested Matiullah Wesa, an education activist and campaigner, along with his two brothers on Monday. Wesa’s organization, Pen Path, provides mobile schools for children in remote areas and promotes girls’ education. In a recent meeting with tribal elders, Wesa emphasized the necessity of educating girls and asked the Taliban to open the schools for girls. 

Wesa’s arrest has drawn widespread reactions from UN agencies, European Union (EU) and human rights organizations.

The Taliban’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, has accused Wesa of engaging in illegal activities and provocative gatherings.

Abdul Haq Hamad, a senior official at the Taliban’s Ministry of Information and Culture, has defended Wesa’s arrest, claiming the widespread reactions to his arrest is an indication that a large conspiracy has been thwarted.