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Taliban arrests popular Afghan professor Faizuallah Jalal

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Taliban arrests popular Afghan professor Faizuallah Jalal

Afghan Taliban have accused the Kabul University professor of “provoking” people against the government through his remarks on social media. There was no official response from the government to queries about Jalal‘s arrest. (Twitter/@Haqmal) The Taliban has arrested a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, including the new rulers in Kabul.

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Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet on Sunday 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 a tweet early Sunday, Jalal's daughter Hasina Jalal pleaded for her father's release. “As I confirm the disturbing news. I ask for the immediate release of my father Professor Faizuallah Jalal,” she tweeted.

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It has been six hours since the arrest of my father, Professor Jalal, and ever since, we have not been able to contact him. I call on the Taliban to immediately release my father. Please join my call. #FreeProfessorJalal #FreeJalal @hrw @POTUS @unafghanistan @SecBlinken

— Hasina Jalal (@HasinaJalal) January 8, 2022 TOLO TV, Afghanistan's largest station on which Faizuallah Jalal was a frequent commentator, tweeted that Jalal was arrested “reportedly for making allegations against government departments, a security source said.”

No official response

There was no official response from the government to queries about Jalal's arrest.

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Jalal is the husband of one of the country's first female presidential candidates, Masooda Jalal, who ran against former President Hamid Karzai in 2004

READ MORE:  The Taliban seeks ‘no revenge’ but why do ‘credible’ reports say otherwise?

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August ahead of America's chaotic Aug. 31 departure after nearly 20 years of war. The militant guerrillas-turned-rulers previously held power from 1996-2001

Afghanistan faces a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions, with the United Nations warning that 90 percent of the country's 38 million people are in dire need. 

The arrest of a prominent rights activist was certain to complicate humanitarian aid efforts

It also reinforced fears that the Taliban are imposing the same harsh and repressive rule as their last stint in power before they were ousted by a US-led coalition for harbouring al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden

READ MORE:  Afghanistan seeks humanitarian aid without 'political bias'

Source: TRTWorld and agencies