The Taliban have arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul, the group’s spokesman said Sunday.
Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that professor Faizuallah Jalal was being held by the Taliban’s intelligence arm. The group accused the professor of “nonsense remarks on social media, which were provoking people against the government and playing with people’s dignity.”
In the capital of Kabul a small group of women protested Jalal’s detention. They chanted: “Talking is not a crime, professor Jalal is not a criminal, we want professor Jalal’s release, professor Jalal’s voice is the people’s voice, Talking is not a crime.”
Afghanistan faces a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, with the United Nations warning that 90% of the country’s 38 million people are in dire need. The arrest of a prominent political activist was certain to complicate humanitarian aid efforts.