Taliban arrest girls’ education activist in Kabul, UN says

Kabul, Mar 28 (EFE).- The founder of a girls’ education project in Afghanistan has been arrested by the Taliban government in Kabul, the United Nations reported on Tuesday.

“Matiullah Wesa, head of PenPath and advocate for girls’ education, was arrested in Kabul Monday,” the United Nations mission in Afghanistan tweeted.

“UNAMA calls on the de facto authorities to clarify his whereabouts, the reasons for his arrest and to ensure his access to legal representation and contact with family,” the UN agency added.

Wesa is well known in Afghanistan for launching educational programs in several provinces. The activist also established a mobile library in rural areas.

The Taliban government, which seized power over a year and a half ago following the withdrawal of American troops, banned girls from attending secondary schools and universities.

Wesa has been a vociferous critic of the Taliban’s campaign against women in the country.

UN special rapporteur, Richard Benett, expressed his concern over reports of Wesa’s arrest, who he described as a leading civil society member.

“His safety is paramount and all his legal rights must be respected,” Benett said.

Since the fundamentalists, Afghan women’s rights have been drastically reduced under restrictions such as gender segregation in public places, the imposition of the burqa and the requirement to be accompanied by a male relative on long-distance journeys.

Life for Afghans today is increasingly similar to the time of the first regime between 1996 and 2001 when girls were prohibited from attending school and women were largely confined to the home. EFE


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