Afghanistan: Taliban arrests professor who criticized senior official

The Taliban arrested a Kabul university professor who gained national fame for berating a senior official on live television, a sign of the intensification of the crackdown on critics of The new Afghan regime.

Faizullah Jalal, professor of political science and law at Kabul University, was arrested on Saturday, weeks after confronting a Taliban official during a debate on Afghanistan’s largest television station, Tolo. Tackling the extremist Taliban regime, he called Mohammad Naeem, spokesperson for the Taliban political bureau in Doha, a “terrorist” and “calf”, an Afghan insult to people with little intelligence.

Chief Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed Mr. Jalal’s arrest on Twitter, calling the professor a “fanatic” who has used social media to entice people. Mr Mujahid posted screenshots of a social media account displaying anti-Taliban messages on behalf of the professor.

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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid at a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 17, 2021.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Mr Jalal’s family members, who operate his official Twitter account, said the account in the screenshots was fake. Mr Jalal’s daughter, Hasina, told the Wall Journal that the family had not been able to contact the professor since Saturday afternoon local time.

In the weeks since taking power in August, the Taliban have repeatedly stated that they support the free media and have mostly refrained from jailing critics, even as dozens of former government officials and members of the security forces were shot dead, often by unknown assailants.

Click here to read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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