KABUL (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Tuesday that a prominent Afghan girls’ education activist was arrested in Kabul this week and asked Taliban officials to explain the reason for her detention.
Spokesmen for the Taliban administration’s information ministry and intelligence agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment or confirmation of the detention.
The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement, “(PenPath) head and girl’s education advocate Matiullah Vesa was arrested in Kabul on Monday.” “UNAMA has asked the de facto authorities to clarify his whereabouts, the reasons for his arrest, and to ensure legal representation and contact with the family.”
Vesa, who comes from the southern province of Kandahar, has for years advocated for girls’ education, especially in conservative rural areas, during the tenure of the previous Western-backed foreign government when she said that many girls living in rural areas was not accessible. by education services. His organization, Pen Path, has held meetings with tribal elders, encouraged communities and officials to open schools, and distributed books and mobile libraries.
The Taliban administration has barred most girls from high school and women from universities citing perceived problems, including female Islamic dress. Officials have said they are working to reopen schools, but have not given a time frame.
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They say they respect women’s rights according to their interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan customs and that improved security in the country since the departure of foreign forces has made it safe for many young children to attend school .
Last year, Vesa told Reuters that her work was free and fair from political interference and that her focus was on helping communities encourage girls’ education.
(Reported by Kabul newsroom)
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