Taliban-free Afghanistan professor criticizes government

The Taliban released a popular university professor who was an outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments, who was arrested over the weekend, a family member said


KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban released a popular university professor and outspoken critic of successive Afghan governments who were arrested over the weekend, a family member said Tuesday.


Faizullah Jalal’s daughter, Hasina Jalal, said her father was released from Taliban custody. The group accused him of “publishing nonsense on social media, inciting people against the government and playing with people’s dignity”.

Jalal was detained by Taliban intelligence on Sunday. TOLO TV, Afghanistan’s largest TV station where Jalal is a frequent commentator, tweeted that Jalal was “reportedly arrested on charges against government departments, a security source said.”

After Jalal was detained, he gained a lot of support on social media, with many users posting photos of Jalal. A small group of women protested in Kabul, demanding his release.


After nearly two decades of war, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, before the chaotic U.S. withdrawal on August 31. From 1996 to 2001, the ruler, who was an Islamic militant guerrilla-turned-ruler, was in power.

Afghanistan faces a severe humanitarian crisis, with the United Nations warning that 90 percent of the country’s 38 million people are in dire need. The arrest of a prominent political activist could complicate humanitarian aid efforts.

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