KABUL: An scholar who protested the Taliban government’s prohibition on women attending universities on live television was “beaten and arrested,” according to his assistant.
The university lecturer and education activist’s release was demanded by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to the Taliban leadership.
Richard Bennett, the UN’s rights rapporteur, said on Twitter that he was “concerned” about the Taliban’s detention of university lecturer and campaigner for peaceful education Ismael Mashal the day before. He demanded that he be released immediately and without conditions.
Ismail Mashal, a veteran journalism instructor, made headlines in December when he tore his diplomas to pieces on television in opposition to the decree banning women from pursuing higher education.
Recently, domestic television broadcasts showed Mashal carrying books throughout Kabul and handing them out to onlookers.
Mashal’s assistant Farid Ahmad Fazli claimed, alluding to the Taliban regime, “Mashal was savagely abused and hauled away in a most disrespectful manner”. Moreover, the arrest was verified by a Taliban representative.
Director of the Ministry of Information and Culture, Abdul Haq Hammad tweeted that “Teacher Mashal had engaged in provocative measures against the system for some time.” He was taken in for investigation by the security forces.
Mashal, who has taught for more than ten years at three colleges in Kabul, was jailed on Thursday despite having “done no crime,” according to Fazli.
He said, “He was providing sisters (women) and guys with free literature. He is still being kept, and we are unsure of his location.
Social media users went crazy over video of Mashal shredding his certifications on the exclusive channel TOLO news.
Mashal, who oversaw a co-educational college, pledged to speak out for women’s rights, a rarity in the very traditional and patriarchal country of Afghanistan.
“As a man and a teacher, I was powerless to help them in any other way, and I felt that my credentials were now worthless. Therefore, I tore them, he declared at the time. “I’m becoming louder. Along with my sisters, I’m standing. Even if it means losing my life, I will continue to resist.
Another brief walkout opposing the prohibition was organised by a small number of male students.
Taliban Stern Rule Over Women
When the Taliban took back power in August 2021, they pledged to build a kinder rule; but, they have instead enforced draconian regulations on women, virtually excluding them from public life.
The government ordered all humanitarian organisations to stop allowing its female staff to work in December. Since then, the health industry has been exempted, allowing women to resume their job there.
While many women have lost their employment in government sectors, secondary schools for females have also been closed for more than a year.
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