Taliban arrest popular Afghan professor critical of govt

Kabul Proffesor

A well-known Kabul University professor, picked up by the Taliban on Saturday after he criticised the Islamist outfit on a television show, has still not returned home, his daughter said on Sunday.

Hasina Jalal, who has been running a campaign on social media for her father’s release, said that the Taliban authorities did not allow her to speak with him.

“After several attempts to learn about my father’s health and whereabouts, the Taliban authorities did not allow us to talk to him. Professor Jalal chose to remain in Afghanistan to be with those who could not leave the country.

“He firmly stood by the people of Afghanistan during the most uncertain and tough times. Today he is paying the price of being a responsible citizen. I call on the Taliban authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him. Please join my call,” she tweeted, with the hashtag #FreeProfessorJalal.

Afghans have been actively campaigning on social media to demand the freeing of Professor Faizullah Jalal.

On Sunday, a group of human rights activists, mainly women, took the streets of Kabul to protest the arrest of Professor Faizullah Jalal.
The protesters called for the immediate release of Prof. Jalal by the Islamic emirate.


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Masouda Jalal, Faizullah Jalal’s wife, said on Saturday she does not know about her husband’s health and they are very worried.

Lotfullah Najafizada, the head of Tolo News, in a tweet said the professor had “called a Taliban spokesman “a goat” on a TV show last month” for which he was arrested by the Taliban. “The number of journalists and activists in prison is unprecedented. Such actions speak much louder!”, he said.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s top spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the arrest on Saturday, saying the professor had been arrested “after a series of tweets attributed to him was published on a Twitter account”, that later was said to be a fake account.

Mujahid said that a “fanatical man” had been arrested “for provoking his nonsense on social media, inciting people against the system”.
Amnesty International condemned the arrest of the Kabul University lecturer “for exercising his freedom of expression and criticizing the Taliban on a TV show.”

“We call on the Taliban authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him,” it said.

“The Taliban authorities take any criticism as a threat, like all autocratic regimes. And then come up with excuses for their repression,” tweeted Associate Asia Director for Human Rights Watch, and called for Prof. Jalal’s immediate release.

Jalal was teaching law and political science at the university. He has been a critic of the Islamic Emirate and other governments before.


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